The 31-year-old rapper, whose real name is Willie Junior Maxwell II, was sentenced in federal court in Central Islip, New York, for conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
Maxwell, who is from Paterson, New Jersey, was initially arrested in October 2021 on charges that he allegedly participated in a drug smuggling conspiracy involving heroin, fentanyl and other drugs.
He pleaded guilty in August to a top charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess controlled substances pertaining to cocaine. The charge carried a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.
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The rapper, best known for his 2015 hit “Trap Queen,” apologized in the courtroom. “I hurt my community, people who look up to me, my family, and myself,” he said. “I am truly sorry for any pain I caused.”
Judge Joanna Seybert told Maxwell while announcing his sentence, “Despite your background and all you overcame, you threw it all away.”
In addition to six years in federal prison, Maxwell was sentenced to five years of post-release supervision. NBC News has reached out to his attorneys for comment.
Prosecutors had asked that Maxwell receive a longer term than the minimum, saying he used his fame and influence to “glamorize the drug trade.”
They said the artist became famous for singing about his experience cooking crack cocaine and selling drugs. Prosecutors pointed out that the “Trap Queen” video depicted young children behind him as he “idealized selling drugs.”
Maxwell was accused of being part of an organization that distributed more than 100 kilograms of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and crack cocaine across Long Island and New Jersey from June 2019 through June 2020, prosecutors said in a statement.
Prosecutors alleged the group obtained the narcotics on the West Coast and used the postal service and drivers with hidden vehicle compartments to transport the drugs across the country to Suffolk County for storage. From there, the drugs were distributed to dealers who sold them in Long Island and New Jersey, prosecutors said.
Maxwell was a “kilogram-level redistributor” for the organization, prosecutors said.
Investigators recovered $1.5 million in cash, 16 kilograms of cocaine, two kilograms of heroin, numerous fentanyl pills, several firearms and ammunition in the investigation. Prosecutors said five of the defendants in the case used firearms to protect the drug organization and distribution chain.
In total, six people were charged in connection with the conspiracy, four of whom have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. One defendant, Anthony Cyntje, a New Jersey corrections officer, was sentenced to 72 months in prison for his role in the conspiracy in March.