SUFFOLK COUNTY (WABC) -- Fetty Wap was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy that blanketed parts of Long Island and New Jersey in cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and crack.
The Paterson, New Jersey, native whose real name is William Junior Maxwell II, pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine, the top charge in an indictment against him, admitting that he participated in a massive drug trafficking racket.
The plea, which pertained only to cocaine, spared him from a potential life sentence if he had been convicted on all the charges he faced.
The drugs were obtained from the west coast and brought east either through the mail or by drivers with hidden vehicle compartments to transport the drugs to Suffolk County, where they were stored, prosecutors said. The drugs were then distributed to dealers, who sold them on Long Island and in New Jersey.
According to prosecutors, Maxwell, 31, was a kilogram-level redistributor for the trafficking organization.
Maxwell apologized for his actions and told the judge, "Me being selfish in my pride put me in this position today." His lawyers had suggested he turned to selling drugs because of financial hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maxwell's lawyers had hoped for the minimum five-year prison term, while prosecutors sought a longer sentence.
"This is a sad day,"' defense attorney Elizabeth Macedonio said. "This is a kid from Paterson, New Jersey who made it out."
She said Maxwell "accepts responsibility for his conduct."
Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher Caffarone said the prosecution was not about Maxwell's fame as a performer.
"The defendant did actually sell drugs," Caffarone said. "The defendant did actually sell cocaine."
Judge Joanna Seybert told Maxwell, "You've got a lot going for you. See if you can put it together."
Maxwell rose to prominence after his debut single, the melodic but grungy "Trap Queen," reached No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in May 2015. The song talks about a lover having your back - even if that means helping you cook and sell drugs.
He was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2016.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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