Fetty Wap Asks for Minimum Prison Sentence After Pleading Guilty to Drug Charge: ‘Truly Sorry’
The rapper's lawyers say he only turned to crime to support family members as his touring income dried up during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lawyers for Fetty Wap are asking a judge to sentence him to five years – the minimum under the law – after he pleaded guilty last year to federal drug charges, arguing that the star rapper committed his crimes only to “financially support others” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The “Trap Queen” star (real name Willie Junior Maxwell II) has admitted to participating in what prosecutors called “a multimillion-dollar bicoastal drug distribution organization,” pleading guilty in August to a single charge of conspiring to distribute at least 500 grams of cocaine.
Now, with sentencing set for next week, the rapper’s lawyers say he should receive the minimum possible sentence for that conviction, arguing that he “realizes the terrible mistake he made” and is “truly sorry for the loss and hurt he has caused.”
“What makes this case unusual is Mr. Maxwell’s motivation,” his lawyers wrote in a Wednesday (May 18) filing. “Personal gain was not his motivation. Rather, he was motivated by his commitment to financially support others. He now realizes that he does not have to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders.”
Sentencing guidelines call for a prison term ranging from seven and nine years, but in their filing, Fetty Wap’s lawyers say their client deserves less than that because he only turned to crime amid the pandemic, as his touring income dried up but “the bills kept coming in.”
“Suddenly it felt like life was going in reverse and he became ashamed when he began to struggle to keep up the lifestyle that he created for so many. His judgment became impaired,” the rapper’s lawyers wrote. “Desperate to keep up with his financial obligations, Mr. Maxwell became involved in the instant offense for a few months in the spring of 2020.”
Fetty Wap was arrested in October 2021 at Rolling Loud New York, after prosecutors unveiled an indictment against him and five others: Anthony Leonardi, Robert Leonardi, Brian Sullivan, Kavaughn Wiggins and Anthony Cyntje, a New Jersey corrections officer.
At the time, prosecutors said the group had shipped more than 100 kilograms of the drugs from California and distributed them on Long Island, contributing to “the addiction and overdose epidemic we have seen time and time again tear people’s lives apart.”
“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,” FBI assistant director-in-charge Michael J. Driscoll said at the time.
Federal prosecutors filed their own sentencing recommendations late Thursday.