A federal judge agreed to release rapper Fetty Wap on a $500,000 bond Friday after his arrest last week for allegedly taking part in a multimillion-dollar drug ring that prosecutors said pumped more than 100 kilograms of opioids onto the streets of Long Island and New Jersey.
A grand jury indicted the rapper, whose real name is Willie Junior Maxwell II, and five other men on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess controlled substances. The other five defendants also face a charge of using firearms in connection with drug trafficking.
Maxwell exited the Central Islip courthouse later Friday with an escort from police following a week in federal lockup, before driving away with his two sisters and his girlfriend — all of whom signed off to secure his bond. The rapper ignored a request for comment.
"He’s anxious to see the case through and have it resolved," his defense attorney, Elizabeth Macedonio, said in an interview after the bail hearing.
FBI agents arrested Maxwell, 30, of Paterson, New Jersey, on Oct. 28 at Citi Field in Queens — where he had been billed as a performer at the Rolling Loud music festival. He pleaded not guilty last week.
The two-time Grammy nominee, who is best known for the hit single "Trap Queen," could face 10 years to life in prison if convicted, according to federal prosecutors.
Macedonio argued Friday before U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert that Maxwell wasn’t a flight risk and in fact couldn’t disappear because of his celebrity status and prosthetic eye.
"He’s not able to disguise himself," she added, while successfully proposing a $500,000 personal recognizance bond backed by a home Maxwell owns in Georgia that his parents live in.
Besides Maxwell’s sisters and girlfriend, three other people also will have to sign off to secure the bond, court proceedings showed.
The judge told Maxwell he would be monitored by GPS and ordered the surrender of his passport, while restricting his travel to New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area unless the government and pretrial services approve work-related travel.
"On any professional tour, you’re not to have any controlled substances. … Do we understand each other?" Seybert asked Maxwell.
"Yes ma’am," he replied.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office had argued for Maxwell’s continued detention. Prosecutor Jacob Kubetz said the probe showed Maxwell belonged to a subset of the Bloods gang. He also called the rapper a danger to the community and said he posed a risk of flight because of access to money "that could help him flee and stay hidden."
Maxwell "was a kilogram-level cocaine dealer in New Jersey" who made trips to Suffolk County to buy cocaine — trips corroborated by phone records and social media posts, Kubetz also said.
Authorities have alleged that between June 2019 and June 2020, the defendants distributed more than 100 kilos of heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and crack cocaine locally after getting the drugs on the West Coast and transporting them to Suffolk County.
The contraband was mailed or driven to the East Coast by motorists with hidden compartments in their vehicles, according to prosecutors.
Authorities said they seized $1.5 million in cash, along with 16 kilos of cocaine, two kilos of heroin and numerous fentanyl pills along with four guns and ammunition while executing search warrants during the investigation.
Law enforcement officials have identified the other defendants as: New Jersey correction officer Anthony Cyntje, 23, of Passaic; Anthony Leonardi, 47, of Coram; Robert Leonardi, 26, of Levittown, Pennsylvania; Brian Sullivan, 26, of Lake Grove; and Kavaughn Wiggins, 26, of Coram.