In an appearance in court on Wednesday, May 24, Fetty, whose real name is Willie Junior Maxwell II, received his sentence for his participation in an alleged trafficking ring spanning across the United States.
His lawyers pushed for a minimum five-year sentence in the case, citing financial issues as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. “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 lawyers argued. “His judgment became impaired. 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.”
Per Insider, prosecutors argued he should serve at least seven years and three months because he did not need to supplement income from music with drug trafficking money. “He had a lucrative career as a rap artist and the ability to make an honest living and provide for himself and his family,” the sentencing memo said. “Indeed the defendant told the Probation Department that he made $5 million during his music career. Nevertheless, this defendant chose to supplement his income by trafficking large quantities of drugs — drugs he knew would ruin lives.”
Fetty pleaded guilty in federal court in August 2022, although he stressed via his attorney that he was not cooperating with the authorities. “He is not cooperating, I want that to be very, very clear,” his attorney said. “This is a standard plea.” He was estimated to face between 87 to 108 months behind bars upon entering his plea. Two other individuals in the case, New Jersey corrections officer Anthony Cyntje and his brother Robert Leonardi, accepted guilty pleas prior to Fetty.
The “Trap Queen” rapper was arrested in October 2021 and was accused of obtaining over 100 kilograms of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and crack cocaine between June 2019 and June 2020, and transporting it from the West Coast for distribution in Long Island and New Jersey. He later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess and distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.
Fetty was arrested a second time in August 2022 after he allegedly threatened to kill a man on a FaceTime call after he called him a “rat.”