By Jack Queen
(Reuters) – Rapper Fetty Wap was sentenced on Wednesday to six years in prison after pleading guilty in New York federal court to participating in a large-scale drug distribution ring.
The “Trap Queen” rapper, whose legal name is William Maxwell, admitted to distributing 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of cocaine. Prosecutors said he was part of a crew that also sold heroin, fentanyl and crack cocaine across Long Island and New Jersey between June 2019 and June 2020.
Maxwell apologized during a sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert in Central Islip, N.Y. He said he was motivated by a desire to provide for his family while his income from live performances dried up during the pandemic.
“I only ever wanted to do right by my family and loved ones,” Maxwell said, clad in a beige jumpsuit before a packed gallery of friends, family and business associates.
Maxwell’s lawyer Elizabeth Macedonio urged Seybert to judge her client not by his songs — which she conceded glamorized drugs and violence — but rather by a slew of testimonials to his qualities as a father and family man.
Prosecutor Christopher Caffarone countered that Maxwell engaged in a serious criminal conspiracy and was accused of threatening another man with a gun while on bail.
Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of up to nine years, while Maxwell sought the minimum sentence of five years.
Seybert said a stiff sentence was appropriate given the severity of Maxwell’s crimes.
(Reporting by Jack Queen; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)