Rapper Fetty Wap will spend the next six years behind bars for his role in a multi-million-dollar drug trafficking ring, a Long Island federal judge ruled Wednesday.
The platinum-selling rapper, born William Junior Maxwell II, was charged in 2021 with conspiring to bring more than 100 kilos of heroin, fentanyl and cocaine from the West Coast to the East for sale in New Jersey and Long Island.
He pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine, but not the other drugs.
Fetty Wap’s lawyers asked the judge to sentence him to the five-year mandatory minimum, arguing that his involvement in the drug trafficking ring was born out of desperation, and his worry that he wouldn’t be able to keep up his financial obligations during the COVID pandemic.
“With the coming of the worldwide pandemic, things began to change for Mr. Maxwell. There were no opportunities to perform, thus his income was severely limited. He was sued personally, was going through a divorce, and was involved with a tour manager who was stealing from him. While the bills kept coming in, the money to pay them was running out,” wrote his lawyer, Elizabeth Macedonio.
Prosecutors were asking for a nine-year prison sentence, using his hit song “Trap Queen” to make the argument that the drug dealing was not an isolated incident.
“Specifically, he admitted to the Probation Department that the song which was released in 2014, was an ‘ode to a former girlfriend who assisted him a cocaine base distribution operation in Patterson, New Jersey,’” federal prosecutors wrote in a May 18 sentencing memo.
The lyrics make reference to getting rich from drug dealing, including the lines, “We just set a goal, talking matching Lambos / At 56 a gram, five a hundred grams, though.”
They also referenced the incident that led to the revocation of his $500,000 bond revoked — the rapper waved what looked like a gun during a Dec. 11 FaceTime call and told a man, “Imma kill you and everybody you with,” according to court filings.
Federal authorities labeled him “a kilogram-level redistributor for the trafficking organization,” which sold drugs between June 2019 and June 2020 — long after his rise to stardom. Five other suspects were also charged in the conspiracy.
Fetty Wap and his accomplices got their narcotics on the West Coast and used the mail, along with drivers who had hidden compartments in their vehicles, to bring the drugs to Suffolk County, where they were stored, federal prosecutors say.
Authorities conducted a series of search warrants as they busted the drug ring and found about $1.5 million in cash, 16 kilograms of cocaine, two kilograms of heroin, several fentanyl pills, two 9-mm handguns, a rifle, a .45 caliber pistol, a .40 caliber pistol and ammunition, prosecutors said.
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