Rapper Fetty Wap charged with conspiracy to smuggle drugs into NYC
- The rapper, whose real name is Willie Maxwell, was arrested from Citi Field
- An indictment that had previously blacked out Maxwell's name was unredacted on Friday
- Maxwell and his co-defendants are charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute drugs
Rapper Fetty Wap was on Friday hit with charges of participating in a conspiracy to smuggle large amounts of heroin, fentanyl, and other drugs into the New York City region, after his arrest a day earlier.
The rapper, whose real name is Willie Maxwell, was arrested from Citi Field, home of the Mets on Thursday. That is the venue where the three-day Rolling Loud hip-hop music festival is taking place. An indictment that had previously blacked out Maxwell's name was unredacted on Friday to publicly add his name to a case involving five other defendants, including a New Jersey corrections officer.
"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," Michael J. Driscoll, an official with the FBI's New York office, said, according to the Associated Press.
According to the indictment, Maxwell and his co-defendants are charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute more than 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of heroin, fentanyl and crack cocaine between June 2019 and June 2020. The scheme involved using the US Postal Service and cars with hidden compartments to move the narcotics from the West Coast to Long Island, where they were stored for distribution to dealers on Long Island and in New Jersey, authorities said.
Maxwell, 30, pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was ordered to be held without bail at a virtual hearing on Friday. His lawyer, Elizabeth Macedonio, didn't argue for bail and a prosecutor told a magistrate judge that there was a potential plea deal in the works.
There was no immediate response to a message left with Macedonio seeking comment.
Maxwell rose to prominence after his debut single "Trap Queen" reached number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in May 2015.
He has had other brushes with the law, including a 2019 arrest in Las Vegas for allegedly assaulting three employees at a hotel casino. He was previously arrested in November 2017 and charged with DUI after police say he was drag racing on a New York City highway.
Maxwell experienced personal tragedy in October 2020 when his younger brother, 26-year-old Twyshon Depew, was shot and killed in their hometown of Paterson, New Jersey.
Then in June 2021, Maxwell's 4-year-old daughter, Lauren, died.
(With AP inputs)