Fetty Wap, the New Jersey rapper who rose to fame with his hit single “Trap Queen,” a romantic ode to getting involved in the drug trade, was arrested Wednesday for trafficking across the country Sentenced to 6 years in prison for narcotics.
The singer, whose legal name is Willie Junior Maxwell II, 31, has been in custody since his bail was revoked in August after prosecutors said he displayed the gun and threatened to kill. He subsequently pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.
He appeared before Judge Joanna Seibert in Central Islip Federal Court in New York on Wednesday and was sentenced to one year over the minimum sentence. Mr Maxwell entered the courtroom in a beige jumpsuit, his braids pulled back from his face, as he waved to around 20 family and friends who attended the sentencing.
His lawyer, Elizabeth Macedonio, argued that Mr. Maxwell had been supporting many relatives and children and needed money to keep them afloat once the pandemic ended live entertainment. Mr Maxwell himself apologized to the communities and families of drug users he has harmed.
“I just want to help my family,” Mr Maxwell told the judge. “I never asked myself if that was all right.”
Prosecutors argued for a longer sentence, saying he used his fame to “glorify the drug trade” while making millions from his music after the release of “Trap Queen” in 2015. They pointed to the use of children as extras in the music video for the song and noted that the case had received a lot of media attention.
Prosecutor Christopher Caffarone asked the judge on Wednesday to remember the “collateral consequences” of substance abuse, noting that many people have suffered during the pandemic but “they haven’t switched to peddling poison.”
Judge Seibert called the case one of the most difficult she had to decide in her 30 years on the bench, noting Mr Maxwell had acquired an “incredible reputation” overcoming obstacles – only to throw it away up. She noticed his loving, supportive family, many of whom wrote to her, and his relationship with his children. But she said his offending was serious and his behavior while on bail raised serious questions.
“What you can’t escape is that there are other options,” she said.
In March, one of Mr. Maxwell’s co-defendants, former New Jersey corrections officer Anthony Cyntje, was sentenced to six years in prison for cocaine shipments. Maxwell’s four remaining co-defendants pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
Mr. Maxwell, from Paterson, New Jersey, lost his left eye to congenital glaucoma, was at the peak of his music career when he was dealing drugs. In May 2015, “Trap Queen” reached No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart with its unique combination of singing and rapping. Music site Pitchfork described his The “eerie melodic vocals” are a “shuddering, lightning-shattering instrument”.he was nominated two grammy awards Appeared the following year on the VH1 reality show “Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood“
In court on Wednesday, Ms Macedonio cited previous obstacles Mr Maxwell had faced, including constant bullying due to glaucoma and drug addiction before he began his music career with the Remy Boyz band. Then “Trap Queen” hit the airwaves.
“Suddenly, that kid from Paterson, who was supposed to be going nowhere, became the national spotlight,” she said.
She noted that the charges covered only six months of activity about three years ago and accused prosecutors of trying to use his reputation against his extended sentence, saying it showed a “complete disconnect” between law enforcement and law enforcement. music world.
He has been in protective custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn since August, amid fears he would be targeted because of his fame.
After Mr Maxwell’s arrest, she said, he was busy taking on as many gigs as possible to make money for his family before he knew he would face a long prison sentence.
While the case was pending, Mr. Maxwell released a down-tempo R&B riff titled “Sweet Yamz.” Prosecutors said that was the drug code.