Fetty Wap: Rapper sentenced to six years in prison for drug-trafficking scheme
Fetty Wap has been sentenced to six years in federal prison for his role in a New York-based drug-trafficking scheme.
The “Trap Queen” rapper, whose legal name is Willie Maxwell, pleaded guilty in August 2022 to a conspiracy drug charge that carried a mandatory minimum sentence of five years.
The sentence was handed down in federal court on Long Island and received on Wednesday (24 May)
Maxwell, 31, apologised for his actions and told the judge: “Me being selfish in my pride put me in this position today.”
The musician was arrested in October 2021 on charges of participating in a conspiracy to smuggle large amounts of heroin, fentanyl and other drugs into the New York City area. His lawyers had suggested that Maxwell turned to selling drugs due to financial hardship brought on by the Covid pandemic.
The New Jersey native, along with five co-defendants were accused of conspiring to possess and distribute more than 100kg of heroin, fentanyl and crack cocaine between June 2019 and June 2020.
Prosecutors said the scheme involved using the US Postal Service and cars with hidden compartments to move drugs from the West Coast to Long Island, where they were stored for distribution to dealers on Long Island and in New Jersey.
Maxwell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess controlled substances, the top charge in an indictment against him, admitting that he participated in a massive drug trafficking racket.
The plea, which pertained only to cocaine, spared him from a potential life sentence, had he been convicted on all the charges he faced.
Maxwell's lawyers had hoped for the minimum five-year prison term, while prosecutors sought a longer sentence.
“This is a sad day,” defence attorney Elizabeth Macedonio said, adding that Maxwell “accepts responsibility for his conduct”. “This is a kid from Paterson, New Jersey who made it out.”
Assistant United States attorney Christopher Caffarone said the prosecution was not about Maxwell's fame as a performer. “The defendant did actually sell drugs,” he said. “The defendant did actually sell cocaine.”
Judge Joanna Seybert told Maxwell: “You've got a lot going for you. See if you can put it together.”
Maxwell rose to prominence after his debut single, “Trap Queen,” reached No 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in May 2015. The song talks about a lover having your back – even if that means helping you cook and sell drugs. He was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2016.
Additional reporting by Associated Press