The music producer, Rafael “Raphy” Pina Nieves, is in the medical unit of the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) after his blood sugar levels rose after his admission to prison.
Mr. Javier Micheo said in a television interview with Lo Sé Todo that he spoke with his client Raphy Pina and is “in good spirits, he appreciates the support” and highlights that “he has been treated very well.”
The producer is in a room alone but with 24/7 surveillance.
Pina Nieves must stay in quarantine for another six to seven days before she can receive any visitors.
Yesterday, federal judge Francisco Besosa sentenced Pina Nieves to three years and five months in jail, three years of probation and a fine of $150,000. The music producer was found guilty on December 22 of illegal possession of a firearm and illegal possession of a machine gun.
He didn’t keep his promise
Pina Nieves arrived at Judge Besosa’s room on the fifth floor of the Federal Court of Old San Juan shortly before 9:00 am By that time, the family and friends of the convict occupied almost three rows of seats. Among them, dressed in black and accompanied by his wife, was the reggaeton singer and former friend of the producer, Ramón Ayala, better known as Daddy Yankee.
The sentencing hearing began until 9:55 am, with the lawyer María Domínguez exposing the key points of the sentence that they requested from the judge: probation. On the one hand, Domínguez emphasized that the evidence he paraded in relation to the ammunition found at Pina Nieves’ residence in Caguas Real did not contain his client’s DNA and insisted that the prosecutors never presented evidence that the producer had the intention of use or possess the firearms found.
For his part, federal prosecutor José Ruiz stressed that this is not a typical case of illegal possession of firearms due to the overwhelming evidence they collected to show that Pina Nieves had possession of the two pistols and the other pistol modified to function as a machine gun.
In the room, Ruiz reproduced excerpts from a recorded call between Pina Nieves and her accountant, Joed Romero Soler, in which the producer states that he has “guns, rifles and bullets” at the Caguas Real residence.
Ruiz also highlighted that for Pina Nieves’ first conviction in 2015 he had promised that he would not reoffend again and that he would not return to court. However, the prosecutor argued that even making that promise to the court, the defendant chose to acquire the firearms a few years after that first probation sentence.
Family alleges persecution
During the hearing, Judge Besosa allowed the producer’s aunt, Susana Pina Gómez, to make statements on behalf of the family. Pina Gómez highlighted the family character of her nephew, prioritizing the well-being of his four children and wife, the urban singer Natti Natasha, while continuing to undertake his business, particularly with the announced farewell tour of his partner Daddy Yankee.
“Raphy does not represent a danger to our society, he is not a criminal or a drug trafficker. Much less a tax evader, as has been wanted to show. He is a successful young producer who has worked hard to fulfill his dreams, fighting for the welfare of his family and who has four great reasons in his life: his children. In addition, his partner, his family, his artists, his employees and his businesses, “said Pina Gómez before Besosa.
She also thanked the judge for postponing the sentencing hearing, allowing Pina Nieves to celebrate her youngest daughter’s birthday and her son Antonio’s graduation.
Upon leaving the court, Pina Gómez told THE SPOKESPERSON that although he said little, his words arise from the family ties that unite them. “He is a human being that we all love, that I understand, in my opinion, that he has been persecuted, that he has not been given the opportunity,” he said.
“Now comes the appeal, let’s wait for the results of the appeal, which is the important thing,” added the music producer’s aunt.
On December 22, Pina Nieves was found unanimously guilty by a jury on two serious charges against him: possession of an illegal weapon and possession of a machine gun. This is Pina Nieves’ second conviction, after he pleaded guilty in 2015 to bank fraud.