the law

Fetty Wap Pleads Guilty in Federal Drug Case

Photo: Manny Hernandez/Getty Images

Fetty Wap pleaded guilty on August 21, 2022, in Long Island federal court to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine. “I agreed with other people to distribute cocaine,” said the “Trap Queen” rapper, whose given name is Willie Junior Maxwell II, as he entered his guilty plea. “I knew the conduct was illegal.” Under Maxwell’s plea deal, prosecutors will recommend a sentence of 87 to 108 months in prison. The minimum prison term for this charge is five years behind bars, the maximum 40 years.

Despite staring down years in lockup, Maxwell, 31, was in good spirits during the brief court proceeding. When Maxwell walked into the courtroom just after 11:20 a.m., sporting navy jail scrubs, he was all smiles. After sitting, he turned around and grinned at a small group of supporters in the gallery. In court, prosecutor Chris Caffarone told magistrate judge Steven Locke that the government’s evidence included witnesses and other corroboration such as video and cell-phone site data. It was also revealed in court that Maxwell’s plea deal was a standard one — not a cooperation agreement.

Maxwell’s plea stems from his arrest on drug charges in October 2021, shortly before he was set to take the stage at Rolling Loud New York. Federal prosecutors claimed that Maxwell “was a kilogram-level redistributor for the [drug] trafficking organization.” Maxwell was out on $500,000 bond until August 8, when police arrested him, alleging he had violated the terms of his pretrial release. Authorities claimed that Maxwell threatened a person during a December 11, 2021, FaceTime call. They allege that Maxwell “possessed a gun, threatened to kill him, and called an individual a ‘rat,’ despite the fact that this was a direct violation of both state law and the conditions of his release.” In court documents, authorities say they have a video recording of this FaceTime. Maxwell, the documents claim, pointed the toward the person, who is referred to as John Doe.

Following Maxwell’s plea, his attorney, Elizabeth Macedonio, told Locke that he had been in solitary confinement since being thrown in jail. Officers told him “that he’s not getting out of the special-housing unit,” Macedonio said. “He’s done nothing, as far as conduct-wise, for this to be going on,” she said. Macedonio is asking for an expedited sentencing so that Maxwell can be transferred to a prison where he won’t be held in isolation.

Asked about the plea deal after the proceeding, Macedonio said, “He’s not cooperating. I want that to be very, very clear. He is not cooperating. This is a standard plea [agreement].” Macedonio also praised Maxwell for being one of the most pleasant clients she’s ever had, saying he’s “very well put together in dealing with the stress that he’s dealing with.”

Fetty Wap Pleads Guilty in Federal Drug Case