Fetty Wap Admits Conspiring With a Long Island Drug Gang and Pleads Guilty

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The rapper Fetty Wap has gained notoriety in recent years not only for his prolific output of singles and mixtapes, but also for contributing his name and image to a racing video game and even taking the runway during New York Fashion Week.

His involvement in a Long Island cocaine ring was a secret aspect of his life up until last year, when he was detained by F.B.I. agents at Citi Field just before he was scheduled to perform there as part of the Rolling Loud music festival.

Willie Junior Maxwell II, also known as Fetty Wap, was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess drugs at his arraignment. His legal issues got worse this month when his $500,000 bail was revoked because, according to the prosecution, he threatened a guy via a video call while brandishing a revolver.

On Monday, a prosecutor explained to Magistrate Judge Steven I. Locke of Federal District Court in Central Islip that although heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and crack were mentioned in the indictment from the previous year charging Mr. Maxwell and five other men, Mr. Maxwell was only charged with conspiring to possess and distribute cocaine.

According to the prosecution, Christopher Caffarone, Mr. Maxwell plotted in Suffolk County to distribute significantly more than 500 grams of cocaine in New Jersey in the first half of 2020.

Mr. Maxwell, 31, entered a guilty plea to that charge a short while later.
He admitted to Judge Locke that he had made plans to distribute cocaine with others. I understood the behavior to be unlawful.
Judge Locke declared that he would advise a district judge to accept Mr. Maxwell’s plea.

The offense Mr. Maxwell pleaded guilty to carries a 40-year maximum sentence and a five-year minimum. According to the prosecution, Mr. Maxwell waived his right to appeal if his sentence was 10 years or less.

Elizabeth Macedonio, the attorney for Mr. Maxwell, petitioned Judge Locke for a speedy sentence decision, claiming that her client was being kept in the worst possible circumstances in a special housing unit at a federal prison in Brooklyn.

Ms. Macedonio claimed outside the courthouse following the arraignment that Mr. Maxwell had not consented to assist the authorities in any way.

The Paterson, New Jersey-born Mr. Maxwell gained notoriety in 2015 with the song Trap Queen, in which he sang and rapped about making and selling narcotics, daydreamed about purchasing a Ferrari and a Lamborghini, and declared: In love with the money, I ain’t never letting go.

The song received a Grammy nomination in 2016 and was later described as “shimmering, yelping, and bordering on comical” by The New York Times.

The 2015 self-titled debut album by Fetty Waps reached position the top of on the Billboard 200. Despite subsequent collaborations with Drake, Snoop Dogg, and Nicki Minaj, Mr. Maxwell was unable to duplicate his prior success.

Nevertheless, he managed to maintain his notoriety. In 2016, it was revealed that Mr. Maxwell was working on a video game in which players drive drag-racing cars around city streets. (The next year he was caught and accused of drag-racing; it was said that a police camera had seen him dodging traffic on the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn while traveling at nearly 100 mph.)

In a black shirt by German designer Philipp Plein that featured a skull and crossbones, Mr. Maxwell debuted on a runway inside the New York Public Library’s main branch on Fifth Avenue during Fashion Week in 2017.

Mr. Maxwell was one of six persons charged of delivering more than 100 kg of drugs between roughly June 2019 and June 2020, one of whom was a New Jersey prison officer. Authorities claimed that the men used drivers who had hidden car compartments and the US Postal Service to smuggle the illegal substances from the West Coast before keeping them in Suffolk County.

There, according to law enforcement sources, cutting agents were frequently used to split up a kilogram of drugs into as many as four before giving them to lower-level dealers. Mr. Maxwell was referred to by the prosecution as a kilogram-level redistributor.

Approximately $1.5 million in cash, 16 kilos of cocaine, 2 kilograms of heroin, many fentanyl tablets, 2 9 millimeter handguns, a rifle, a.45 caliber pistol, a.40 caliber pistol, and ammunition were found as a result of search warrants carried out throughout the investigation.

Mr. Maxwell was not among the five defendants accused of having a firearm in the course of drug trafficking. However, he was charged with having a handgun in his possession and brandishing it late last year while speaking on FaceTime with a man only known as John Doe.

Mr. Maxwell could be seen aiming a black revolver at the screen in a videotape of that footage that the government was able to secure. An F.B.I. agent who watched the video stated in an affidavit submitted to the court that Mr. Maxwell also made threats, stating that “your man is a rat” and “I’m going to murder you.”

On Monday, when the proceedings came to a close, Mr. Maxwell turned to face his audience.

In a quiet voice, he said, “I love you.” As Mr. Maxwell was brought out the courtroom, they all reacted simultaneously and echoed the same remarks back to him.

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