Rapper Fetty Wap Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Charge
Faces a mandatory minimum of 5 years in federal prison
Fetty Wap, pictured at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, pleaded guilty on Monday to a federal drug charge. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Rapper Fetty Wap pleaded guilty Monday to a federal drug charge carrying a minimum five-year prison sentence.
The plea was entered in the Eastern District of New York’s Long Island courthouse two weeks after U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven Locke revoked the $500,000 bond previously granted to Fetty Wap, 31, whose real name is Willie Junior Maxwell II. Maxwell was arrested on Aug. 8 for violating the conditions of his release when, according to an affidavit, he called someone on FaceTime and threatened to kill them while brandishing a weapon.
Maxwell, best known for his Grammy-nominated debut single “Trap Queen,” which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2015, was one of six defendants accused in an October federal indictment of distributing more than 100 kilograms of narcotics including cocaine, heroin and fentanyl, which they allegedly obtained on the West Coast. Following his most recent arrest, Maxwell remains in custody. His estimated sentencing guidelines range between seven and nine years.
Two of the defendants listed alongside Maxwell in the indictment pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess controlled substances. One of them also confessed to using firearms in connection with drug trafficking. Maxwell, who previously maintained his innocence, pleaded guilty to the first count.
In a news release from October, U.S. District Attorney Breon Peace said the defendants were “deliberately contributing to the opioid epidemic that has devastated our communities and taken too many lives.” Michael Driscoll, assistant director of the FBI’s New York field office, added that “the fact that we arrested a chart-topping rap artist and a corrections officer as part of the conspiracy illustrates just how vile the drug trade has become.”
Maxwell was initially arrested in October ahead of his scheduled performance at the Rolling Loud music festival in New York. He remained active on social media until his most recent arrest; in November, following his release on the $500,000 bond, he wrote on Instagram that “loyalty can be both a great trait and a deadly one.”