September 29, 2023


Arts Eternal

4 charged after overdose death of actor Michael K. Williams

NEW YORK – 4 adult males confront charges that they were customers of the drug distribution crew that provided a fatal combine of narcotics to Michael K. Williams, the renowned actor from “The Wire” who overdosed just hours soon after acquiring fentanyl-laced heroin in a deal recorded on protection camera movie.

The guy witnessed on camera handing Williams the medicine on a Brooklyn sidewalk, Irvin Cartagena, was billed with straight leading to the actor’s death, authorities mentioned.

Williams’ demise was investigated by the New York Town law enforcement department, but the costs were brought by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, who exposed that the suspects experienced been below surveillance even just before the actor’s fatal overdose past September.

It was a sting that bore a hanging resemblance to the form depicted on “The Wire,” exactly where Williams gained fame actively playing the bandit Omar Minor.


For months, a compensated informant functioning for the NYPD had been generating controlled buys of heroin on the very same block where Williams procured his medications. An undercover law enforcement officer manufactured 1 obtain just days just before the actor copped his fatal dose, court papers said.

The vials of medications located with Williams when his overall body was identified on Sept. 6 bore the very same label, “AAA Insurance coverage,” as the vials ordered by the officer.

The day soon after the actor’s dying, the NYPD’s informant went back again to buy extra medicines from the same group, recording a conversation in which some users of the crew talked about Williams’ overdose. 1 denied promoting any medicine that contains fentanyl.

Cartagena and the three other adult males in the situation were being arrested Tuesday. A few made preliminary appearances Wednesday in Manhattan federal court. Cartagena’s original court appearance is scheduled for Thursday in Puerto Rico, where he was arrested.

It was not quickly distinct who would represent him or who could comment on his behalf.


U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, who announced the charges with New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, referred to as overdose deaths a “public health and fitness crisis.”

“And it has to halt. Fatal opioids like fentanyl and heroin never treatment about who you are or what you’ve accomplished. They just feed habit and direct to tragedy,” Williams explained.

Sewell stated police detectives in Brooklyn “lived this case, never ever relenting in their investigation until eventually they could carry a measure of justice to Michael K. Williams and his relatives.”

Williams, 54, was found useless in his penthouse condominium in Brooklyn Sept. 6. At that time, the healthcare examiner’s place of work dominated Williams’ death an accident

Police pieced jointly Williams’ movements in the hours just before his death working with info from his mobile mobile phone and license plate readers.


A stability camera on the block recorded the drug offer, police claimed.

Williams talked with the group, and a single of the folks positioned his hand on the actor’s shoulder in an obvious gesture of recognition, in accordance to the complaint. Cartagena then walked about a row of trash cans, retrieved a plastic bag and handed it to the actor, the court docket papers said.

The adult males ongoing to promote fentanyl-laced heroin in broad daylight amid condominium buildings in Brooklyn and Manhattan even following recognizing that Williams experienced died from a single of their products, authorities stated.

The other people billed were recognized as Hector Robles, 57, Luis Cruz, 56, and Carlos Macci, 70, all of Brooklyn. Their lawyers did not right away return messages seeking remark. It was not obvious whether they have been the males witnessed in the surveillance video clip.

All 3 were being purchased detained at their first court docket appearances.

The conspiracy expenses against all four have a obligatory bare minimum of five several years in jail and a maximum sentence of 40 decades. The cost versus Cartagena accusing him of creating the actor’s loss of life carries a mandatory bare minimum of 20 many years in jail and a optimum of lifetime.


Cartagena experienced been arrested in February 2021 on condition drug fees in Brooklyn immediately after providing 4 modest waxy paper baggage to an undercover investigator, in accordance to a federal complaint towards him. At the time, he was on pretrial launch from a gun charge arrest in August 2020.

He pleaded responsible Aug. 26 to disorderly carry out in the two crimes and was sentenced to time served, the criticism read.

Williams’ “stick-up boy” Omar Little on “The Wire” — a fictionalized glimpse at the underpinnings of Baltimore that ended in 2008 but continues to be preferred in streaming — was centered on genuine-life figures. He developed one more vintage character as Chalky White in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and appeared in the movies “12 Years a Slave” and “Assassin’s Creed.”

He had spoken frankly in interviews about his activities with dependancy.

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