American rapper Fetty Wap, whose real name is Willie Junior Maxwell II, has been sentenced to six years in prison for his involvement in a large-scale drug trafficking operation that transported narcotics from the West Coast to New Jersey and Long Island.
The 31-year-old rapper, originally from Paterson, New Jersey, was arrested in October 2021 on charges related to a drug smuggling conspiracy involving heroin, fentanyl, and other drugs.
In August, he pleaded guilty to the primary charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess controlled substances, specifically cocaine, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.
During his court appearance, Fetty Wap, best known for his 2015 hit “Trap Queen,” expressed remorse and offered an apology. He acknowledged the harm caused to his community, those who looked up to him, his family, and himself. He stated, “I am truly sorry for any pain I caused.”
Judge Joanna Seybert, while delivering the sentence, remarked to Maxwell, “Despite your background and all you overcame, you threw it all away.” In addition to serving six years in federal prison, he will be subject to five years of post-release supervision. NBC News has sought comment from his legal representatives.
Prosecutors had advocated for a lengthier sentence than the minimum, citing Maxwell’s use of his fame and influence to glamorize the drug trade. They pointed out that his music and image revolved around his experiences cooking crack cocaine and selling drugs. Specifically, they highlighted the “Trap Queen” music video, in which young children were present as he portrayed drug dealing in an idealized manner.
Maxwell was accused of being part of an organization responsible for distributing over 100 kilograms of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and crack cocaine across Long Island and New Jersey from June 2019 to June 2020. The prosecution revealed that the group acquired the drugs from the West Coast and employed postal services and concealed compartments in vehicles to transport them across the country to Suffolk County for storage. From there, the drugs were distributed to dealers who sold them in Long Island and New Jersey.
Described as a “kilogram-level redistributor” for the organization, Maxwell played a significant role in its operations. During the investigation, law enforcement officials seized $1.5 million in cash, 16 kilograms of cocaine, two kilograms of heroin, various fentanyl pills, firearms, and ammunition. Prosecutors noted that five defendants involved in the case used firearms to safeguard the drug organization and distribution network.
A total of six individuals were charged in connection with the conspiracy, four of whom have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. In March, one defendant, Anthony Cyntje, a New Jersey corrections officer, was sentenced to 72 months in prison for his involvement in the conspiracy