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Four Men Arrested, One Caught on Surveillance, In Connection to Michael K. Williams’ Death

Four suspects have been arrested in connection to the September 2021 overdose death of Emmy-nominated actor and producer Michael K. Williams

In a statement released on Wednesday, Feb. 2, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams and Keechant Sewell, commissioner of the New York City Police Department, announced narcotics conspiracy charges against four men: Irvin Cartagena, 39, Hector Robles, 57, Luis Cruz, 56, and Carlos Macci, 70. 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 07: Michael K. Williams poses for the 2021 Critics Choice Awards on March 07, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for ABA)

The suspects are reportedly members of a drug trafficking organization that authorities believe played a role in selling the fentanyl-laced heroin to the prominent star. They have all been charged with “conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl analogue, fentanyl, and heroin.” If found guilty, they will receive prison sentences of between five and 40 years. 

Cartagena faces an additional charge of “causing the death of Williams in connection with the narcotics conspiracy,” after officials said he was spotted on surveillance video on Sept. 5, 2021, completing the drug transaction with Williams on a Brooklyn sidewalk. Cartagena will be arraigned in federal court in Puerto Rico, where he was arrested on Feb. 3. He faces a minimum sentence of 20 years to life in prison.

Furthermore, authorities said the men allegedly continued selling the contaminated drugs in the Manhattan and Brooklyn area even after learning of the death of the “Lovecraft Country” star. None of the men has++++++++\ entered pleas to the charges brought against them. 

“Deadly opioids like fentanyl and heroin don’t care about who you are or what you’ve accomplished,” Williams said in a statement. “They just feed addiction and lead to tragedy. The Southern District of New York and our law enforcement partners will not give up. We will bring every tool to bear. And we will continue to hold accountable the dealers who push this poison, exploit addiction, and cause senseless death.”

As previously reported, the actor, most notable for his breakout role as Omar Little on the HBO crime drama “The Wire,” was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment on Sept. 6. A medical examiner ruled his death as “acute intoxication by the combined effects of fentanyl, p-fluorofentanyl, heroin, and cocaine.”  Williams was 54 years old. 

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