Fetty Wap arrested on federal drug trafficking charge

NEW YORK — Authorities have arrested rapper Fetty Wap on allegations that he participated in a scheme to smuggle large amounts of heroin, fentanyl and other drugs from the West Coast to the New York City area.

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He was arrested Thursday at CitiField in New York City, where he was scheduled to perform on the first day of the Rolling Loud music festival, The New York Times reported.

In an indictment filed Sept. 29 and unsealed Friday, authorities said the 30-year-old rapper, whose real name is Willie Junior Maxwell II, conspired with five others, including a New Jersey corrections officer, to distribute more than 100 kilograms of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and crack cocaine from June 2019 to June 2020.

In a news release, authorities said the group sourced the drugs on the West Coast and used the U.S. Postal Service and vehicles with hidden compartments to transport the drugs across the country, before distributing them to dealers who sold them on Long Island and in New Jersey. In the release, authorities described Maxwell as “a kilogram-level redistributor for the trafficking organization.”

“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 Driscoll said in a statement.

A judge ordered Maxwell held without bail at a virtual court hearing Friday, according to The Associated Press. He pleaded not guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess controlled substances, and a prosecutor said a potential plea deal was in the works, the AP reported.

“We pray that this is all a big misunderstanding,” Maxwell’s attorney, Navarro W. Gray, said in a statement obtained by the Times. He added that he hoped his client would be released “so we can clear things up as soon as possible.”