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Alexander Wang show, Fall Winter 2017, New York Fashion Week, USA - 11 Feb 2017

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It’s safe to say that we all experienced some hard times during the lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of people died, businesses were shuttered some never reopened again, and crime, homelessness, and addiction skyrocketed. But not many of us resorted to selling hard drugs to get by. 

Yet, rapper Fetty Wap’s attorney has cited the pandemic as one of the alleged origins of the rapper’s “bicoastal drug distribution organization” that led to his October 2021 arrest on federal drug conspiracy charges.

Fetty’s lawyer, Elizabeth Macedonio filed a memorandum in federal court arguing for the New Jersey native rapper born Willie Junior Maxwell II to receive the mandatory minimum of five years for conspiracy to distribute and possess controlled substances versus the 87 to 108 months that the prosecutor is pushing for. 

According to XXL, Macedonio’s letter to the sentencing judge reads, in part, “In or about 2020, with the coming of the worldwide pandemic, things began to change for Mr. Maxwell. There were no opportunities to perform, thus his income was severely limited,” Fetty Wap’s attorney writes. “He was sued personally, was going through a divorce, and was involved with a tour manager who was stealing from him. While the bills kept coming in, the money to pay them was running out. At or about the same time, Mr. Maxwell lost his grandparents and several other people who were close to him.”

The letter continues: “Depression and panic began to set in. As stated, Mr. Maxwell took enormous pride in his ability to provide for his children and lend support to his other family members. He is described as a people pleaser and a person who gains great satisfaction from taking care of others. Suddenly it felt like life was going in reverse and he became ashamed when he began to struggle to keep up the lifestyle that he created for so many. His judgment became impaired. Desperate to keep up with his financial obligations, Mr. Maxwell became involved in the instant offense for a few months in the spring of 2020.”

Fetty Wap was arrested by the FBI on federal drug charges in October of 2021. The feds nabbed the rapper right before he took the stage at Rolling Loud. He and five other people are accused of helping distribute over 100 kilos of heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and crack cocaine in New York and New Jersey

He was released on bond but arrested again in the fall of 2022 for allegedly threatening to kill a man on a FaceTime call. 

Fetty Wap is scheduled to be sentenced next week.