Rapper Fetty Wrap was arrested at a music festival in New York on Thursday in what the feds called a “multimillion-dollar bicoastal drug distribution organization” that netted five others, including a New Jersey corrections officer.
The FBI took the musician, real name William Junior Maxwell II, into custody at Citi Field late Thursday afternoon, a law enforcement source confirmed to The Daily Beast.
He was scheduled to perform at 4:45 p.m. at the Rolling Loud music festival but some concertgoers complained on Twitter that he never appeared. He is expected to be arraigned in Central Islip Federal Court on Friday.
An indictment unsealed in Central Islip federal court Friday alleges that Maxwell and five others conspired together to sell more than 100 kilograms of narcotics—including heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and crack cocaine—across Long Island and New Jersey.
The group used the U.S. Postal Service and drivers with hidden vehicle compartments to transport drugs across the country to a storage base in Suffolk County, Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in press release. The group then allegedly used cutting agents to turn one kilogram of drugs into as many as four kilograms before distributing it to lower-level dealers.
Four of the men—Anthony Leonardi, 47; his brother Robert Leonardi, 26; Brian Sullivan, 26; and Kavaughn Wiggins, 26— were allegedly in charge of buying and transporting the drugs to Suffolk County, where they were processed and stored.
Maxwell, 30, was a “kilogram-level redistributor for the trafficking organization,” Peace said. Anthony Cyntje, a 23-year-old New Jersey corrections officer, is also accused of transporting kilograms of cocaine from Long Island to New Jersey.
Five of the men were arrested in recent days and weeks; Maxwell was the last of the group to be rounded up. At his arraignment on Friday, the government asked for Maxwell to be detained pending trial—which Maxwell’s lawyer, Elizabeth Macedonio, did not contest. However, prosecutors also said the two sides were discussing a possible plea deal.
Wiggins, 26, is an aspiring rapper from Long Island who goes by the name KV Boss Baby and has recorded duos with Fetty Wap, including a track titled Crack Talk.
All the men except for Maxwell are also charged with carrying firearms during the trafficking operation.
Search warrants uncovered a large stash of drugs, $1.5 million in cash, two 9mm handguns, a rifle, a .45 caliber pistol, a .40 caliber pistol, and ammunition, Peace said.
In a statement to The Daily Beast, Maxwell’s attorney Navarro Gray said: “We pray that this is all a big misunderstanding. He sees the judge today. Hoping he gets released so we can clear things up expeditiously.”
His publicist and booking agent did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday morning.
Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini called the scheme a “multimillion-dollar bicoastal drug distribution organization” that pumped “massive quantities of narcotics into our communities.”
“The pipeline of drugs in this investigation ran thousands of miles from the West Coast to the communities here in our area, contributing to the addiction and overdose epidemic we have seen time and time again tear people’s lives apart,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Michael Driscoll added.
“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.”
Fetty Wap has had prior run-ins with the law. He was charged with battery in 2018 for allegedly punching a Las Vegas hotel security guard, but a judge dismissed the case in exchange for Maxwell performing 75 hours of community service.
He was also caught drag racing on a New York City highway in 2017 and later pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and reckless endangerment.