Four men were arrested for allegedly being part of a drug trafficking organization that sold fentanyl heroin to actor and producer Michael K. Williams, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Williams, best known for his role as Omar Little on the HBO series “The Wire,” was found dead in September 2021 in his New York apartment.
The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office later determined that he died of an accidental overdose.
Irvin Cartagena, 39, Hector Robles, 57, Luis Cruz, 56, and Carlos Macci, 70, were arrested Tuesday and charged with “conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, fentanyl and heroin analogs,” according to court records. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 40 years.
The four men allegedly continued to sell heroin with fentanyl in Manhattan and Brooklyn even after learning of Michael Williams’ death, according to prosecutors.
“Deadly opioids like fentanyl and heroin don’t care who you are or what you’ve accomplished,” prosecutor Damian Williams said in a statement. “They only fuel addiction and lead to tragedy. The Southern District of New York and our law enforcement partners will not give up. We will use all possible tools. And we will continue to hold accountable the traffickers who drive this poison, exploit addiction and cause senseless deaths.”
Cartagena, who allegedly personally supplied Michael K. Williams with heroin with fentanyl and a fentanyl analog, is also accused of causing the actor’s death and faces a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison, according to court records.
Cartagena will be arraigned Thursday in Puerto Rico federal court, where he was detained, while Robles, Cruz, and Macci will be arraigned Wednesday in Manhattan federal court before U.S. District Judge Stewart D. Aaron, according to the news release.