Four Men Arrested in Connection With Michael K. Williams Overdose Death

Michael K. Williams arrives for the 2021 BET Awards on June 27, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Four men have been arrested in connection with the drug overdose death of actor Michael K. Williams, the United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York said in a press release Wednesday.

The men — all New York City residents — were taken into custody Tuesday for their alleged involvement in the drug trafficking ring that sold deadly fentanyl-laced heroin to Williams. The suspects are identified as Irvin Cartagena, 39, Hector Robles, 57, Luis Cruz, 56, and Carlos Macci, 70.

They were each charged with “conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl analogue, fentanyl, and heroin,” authorities said. The charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 40 years behind bars.

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Best known for his role on HBO’s The Wire, Williams was found dead on Sept. 6, 2021 at his New York City apartment.

Federal prosecutors allege the suspects sold the drugs to Williams a day earlier. Investigators were able to track down the defendants through surveillance videos, including footage of a hand-to-hand transaction. A screengrab of the alleged drug deal was included in the news release.

New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said investigators worked tirelessly to solve the case.

“As these federal charges show, the NYPD’s narcotics and precinct detectives in Brooklyn North lived this case, never relenting in their investigation until they could bring a measure of justice to Michael K. Williams and his family,” Sewell said in Wednesday’s release.

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In late September, the New York City coroner’s office concluded that Williams’ death was caused by an accidental overdose due to a lethal combination of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine in his system.

The actor was born in Brooklyn in 1966, and grew up in the East Flatbush neighborhood. He rose to prominence on The Wire as Omar Little, an openly gay robber who targeted drug dealers. Williams often delivered memorable one-liners like, “You come at the king, you best not miss.” He appeared on the series from 2002 to 2008.