Update: March 2 at 1:30 p.m.: All four men charged in relation to Michael K. Williams’s death pleaded not guilty during their arraignment in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday. The indictment charges each man with one count of narcotics conspiracy resulting in death.
Original story follows.
Manhattan authorities arrested four men on Wednesday in connection with the fatal overdose of Michael K. Williams. The actor, 54, was found dead in his apartment after overdosing on heroin-laced fentanyl on September 6, 2021. Irvin Cartagena, 39, Hector Robles, 57, Luis Cruz, 56, and Carlos Macci, 70, were allegedly involved in the drug-trafficking group that sold the narcotics to Williams in Brooklyn. Cartagena was identified in September 5 surveillance video of the alleged transaction, according to a release from the Department of Justice.
Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, called overdose deaths “a public health crisis” in a press release on Wednesday afternoon. “It has to stop. Deadly opioids like fentanyl and heroin don’t care about who you are or what you’ve accomplished.”
Each of the accused are charged with “conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl analogue, fentanyl, and heroin, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison,” while Cartegena is additionally charged with Williams’s death “in connection with the narcotics conspiracy.” The drug- trafficking group was linked to Williams’s overdose during an investigation that began early last year. Authorities claim the men knew about the actor’s overdose death, but kept selling heroin-laced fentanyl to customers in Brooklyn and Manhattan.