Four men have been charged and arrested in connection with the overdose death of Michael K. Williams, federal authorities announced on Wednesday February 2.
According to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Irvin Cartagena, 39, Hector Robles, 57, Luis Cruz, 56, and Carlos Macci, 70, were arrested Tuesday and each charged in federal court with “conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl analogue, fentanyl, and heroin.” The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
Furthermore, Cartagena, who was arrested in Puerto Rico, is also charged with causing the death of Williams in connection with the narcotics conspiracy, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
“Michael K. Williams, a prominent actor, and producer, tragically overdosed in his New York City apartment from fentanyl-laced heroin,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams in a statement.
“Today, along with our law enforcement partners at the NYPD, we announce the arrests of members of a drug crew, including Irvin Cartagena, the man who we allege sold the deadly dose of drugs to Michael K. Williams.”
In the statement released by the Justice Department, federal authorities allege in a criminal complaint that Cartagena executed the hand-to-hand transaction with the actor known for his deft performances on The Wire and Boardwalk Empire.
Federal authorities also provided screenshots taken from surveillance video, purportedly showing the transaction. Authorities also alleged that, despite knowing Williams died after being sold fentanyl-laced heroin, the defendants “continued to sell fentanyl-laced heroin, in broad daylight, amidst residential apartment buildings, in Brooklyn and Manhattan.”
Williams was found dead on Sept. 6 2021, in his Brooklyn apartment by his nephew, and drug paraphernalia was also found, the New York Post reported at the time. He was 54.