Rapper Fetty Wap was sentenced to six years in prison and five years of post-release supervision for his part in a national drug trafficking scheme.
The 31-year-old artist, whose real name is William Junior Maxwell II, apologized for his actions in front of about 20 family members and friends in the New York federal court Wednesday, saying he "only ever wanted to help my family."
The New Jersey native was involved in an organization that distributed more than 100 kilograms of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and crack cocaine across Long Island and New Jersey from June 2019 through June 2020, court documents said.
The rapper and five other co-defendants obtained the drugs from the West Coast and used the USPS and other drivers with hidden vehicle compartments to bring them east, where they were distributed to dealers.
Documents said Maxwell was a kilogram-level distributor for the organization.
He was arrested in October 2021 and had been in custody since August 2022, when his bail was revoked after flashing a gun and threatening someone on a FaceTime call, prosecutors said.
He then pleaded guilty to the top charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess 500 grams or more of cocaine, which carried a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison. The plea spared him from being convicted of all the other charges, which could have ended in a life sentence.
Maxwell's attorneys had requested the minimum sentence, arguing their client turned to selling drugs to help support his family after the pandemic brought financial hardships and that he "got in and got out." His lawyer also asked the judge not to consider the rapper's songs, which often talk about drugs, in the decision.
But prosecutors pushed for a longer sentence of up to nine years, saying the rapper used his fame and songs like "Trap Queen" to "glamorize the drug trade." The prosecutor also pointed to others who suffered during the pandemic and didn't "turn to peddling poison."
One of the rapper's co-defendants, Anthony Cyntje, was also sentenced to six years in prison in March for his role. The remaining four co-defendants have all pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
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