Just less than five months after Michael K. Williams was discovered dead in his Brooklyn home, four men have been arrested and charged with narcotics conspiracy in The Wire star’s death.
“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,” Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said Wednesday morning about the fentanyl-laced heroin sold to Williams last September.
In near identical complaints (read them here and here) unveiled today, the DOJ alleged that over a period from “August 2020 to in or about January 2022,” Hector Robles, Luis Cruz, Carlos Macci and Irvin “Green Eyes” Cartagena sold drugs in Williamsburg as part of a larger “drug trafficking organization.” With vivid security camera photos and informant-aided info, the detailed complaints lay out how the Williams got the drugs from the quartet and how he “died as a result of using that fentanyl-laced heroin.”
“Despite knowing that Williams died after buying the DTO’s product, the DTO has continued to sell fentanyl-laced heroin, in broad daylight, amidst residential apartment buildings,” both complaints declare.
The charges against the four come with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years behind bars and a maximum sentence of 40 years. Individually, Cartagena is additionally 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,” the DOJ said.
Generally in such cases, prosecutors ask for the maximum, and perhaps even more so in a high-profile matter like this. It also should be noted that Cartagena had been picked up for selling drugs at least once before, in 2021 at the very same spot on South 3rd Street in the heavily gentrified Brooklyn neighborhood where he sold the fatal drugs to Williams that Labor Day weekend.
Acclaimed for his work in The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, 12 Years a Slave and most recently Lovecraft Country, the 54-year-old five-time Emmy-nominated actor died on September 6, 2021 due to “acute intoxication by the combined effects of fentanyl, p-fluorofentanyl, heroin and cocaine,” the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner determined.
“I commend our NYPD investigators, working closely with their federal partners in the United States Attorney’s Office, in the Southern District of New York, for their work to clean up this long-embattled block in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and for their sustained commitment to follow every lead this case wrought, from New York City to Puerto Rico and back,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said Wednesday.
Cartagena was arrested in the U.S. territory on Tuesday and will make his first court appearance there Thursday. Robles, Cruz, and Macci were apprehended in New York City and will appear in front of a judge today.
Now before the courts, the case is being handled by the Southern District office’s Narcotics Unit with Assistant U.S. Attorneys Micah Fergenson and David Robles running the prosecution.
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.