CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CN) — Averting a trial on two counts that could have put him away for life in prison, rapper Fetty Wap admitted Monday to helping to distribute cocaine.
The plea means a minimum five-year sentence for the 31-year-old whose full name is Willie Junior Maxwell II. Wap’s debut single “Trap Queen” hit the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 in 2015 and stayed there for 25 consecutive weeks.
Prosecutors say Wap and five co-conspirators distributed more than 100 kilograms, or 220 pounds, of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and crack cocaine in Long Island and New Jersey. Wap’s plea, however, relates only to the possession and distribution of cocaine.
The group is accused of buying the narcotics on the West Coast and moving them to New York using the U.S. Postal Service and vehicles with hidden compartments.
Among Wap’s co-defendants was Anthony Cyntje, a former New Jersey correction officer, who pleaded guilty to drug and weapon charges. Robert Leonardi — whose brother was also charged in the scheme — pleaded guilty to the drug distribution conspiracy count.
Federal agents say they received a recording of the December 2021 interaction in which the quadruple-platinum-selling artist Wap called the man on the other end of the call a “rat” and pointed a gun at him.
“During this video, the defendant is shown holding a gun and pointing it towards John Doe,” an FBI agent says in a sworn affidavit, keeping the other man’s identity anonymous. “The defendant then says to John Doe ‘Imma kill you and everybody you with,’ which he then repeats one more time. The defendant then continues to threaten John Doe, saying ‘I’m gonna kill you,’ a threat which he repeats several more times throughout the video call.”
Wap opted not to make a bid for release ahead of his to-be-scheduled sentencing.
Following the plea, Wap’s attorney Elizabeth Macedonio said her client is not cooperating with the government. Macedonio did not return a request for further comment.
The charges were made public after Wap’s October 2021 arrest. He had been scheduled to perform at the Rolling Loud music festival, but was instead taken into custody at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.
At the time of Wap’s arrest, agents pointed to the rapper’s high profile: His tracks “679,” featuring Remy Boyz, and “My Way,” remixed by Drake, were each top 10 hits in the United States.
“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 in an October 2021 press release.
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