Four men have been charged in connection with the overdose death of Michael K. Williams, accused of selling the actor heroin laced with fentanyl.
Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the men were part of a drug trafficking crew that operated in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. According to video surveillance footage obtained by police detectives, Williams purchased heroin from the group on South 3rd Street in Williamsburg on September 5th, 2021. He was found dead inside of his Brooklyn apartment the following day. A coroner later determined that Williams died of an accidental overdose after ingesting a mix of fentanyl, p-fluorofentanyl, heroin, and cocaine.
Irvin Cartagena, Hector Robles, Luis Cruz, and Carlos Macci are each charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl analogue, fentanyl, and heroin, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. Cartagena, who executed the hand-to-hand transaction, is also charged with causing Williams’ death 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.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said that even after learning of Williams’ death, the men continued to sell fentanyl-laced heroin.
“Michael K. Williams, a prominent actor and producer, tragically overdosed in his New York City apartment from fentanyl-laced heroin,” said Damien Williams in a statement. “This is a public health crisis. And it has to stop. Deadly opioids like fentanyl and heroin don’t care about who you are or what you’ve accomplished. 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.”