Fetty Wap and his legal team are pleading a judge to ignore the recommended sentence for drug trafficking in his case. The rapper, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess controlled substances in August 2022, is asking for a five-year mandatory minimum sentence instead of the seven to nine years that sentencing guidelines recommend, according to Billboard.
According to XXL, the “Trap Queen” rapper’s legal team is attempting to justify the request for the minimum sentence by arguing that the pandemic pushed Fetty Wap into drugs.
“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 Elizabeth Macedonio wrote in a memorandum filed on May 17. “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.”
Macedonio wrote that’s when “depression and panic began to set in” for the rapper.
“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,” she wrote.
The memorandum also included letters from those closest to the rapper, Bossip reported. They confirmed what Macedonio said in the document, explaining that the rapper supported them financially.
The U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York’s office isn’t buying it. They said they think Fetty Rap “used, and continues to use, his fame, sizeable platform, and influence to glamorize the drug trade,” per Bossip.
The rapper will be sentenced on May 24.