Four men have been arrested and charged in the overdose death of actor Michael K. Williams in September.
Three of the four defendants showed up in court on Wednesday and the fourth man was arrested in Puerto Rico and is expected to appear in court on Thursday.
Irving Cartagena, 39, stands charged with narcotics conspiracy after prosecutors revealed he distributed the heroin that resulted in Williams’ death. Hector Robles, 57, Luis Cruz, 56, and Carlos Macci, 70, were charged as members of the alleged conspiracy of Michael K. Williams’ death.
According to court documents the defendants sold Williams the heroin, which was laced with fentanyl and a fentanyl analogue, with Cartagena executing the hand-to-hand transaction.
“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. “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. 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.”
Before his death, Michael K. Williams was open and transparent to the world about his battle with drug addiction and referred to it as an everyday struggle.
“A lot of people think that when a person puts down the drugs or the alcohol that all the problems go away,” he once said. “That couldn’t be further from the truth. Drugs and alcohol are not the problem. They are merely symptoms of the problem.”
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