Four men arrested in connection with death of Michael K. Williams

Each man was charged with distributing fentanyl-laced heroin to the Emmy-nominated actor, who was found dead on September 6, 2021.

Four men were arrested in connection with the death of Michael K. Williams on Tuesday. The five-time Emmy Award-nominated actor was found dead in his Brooklyn, New York home on Sept. 6, 2021, of an apparent heroin overdose. He was 54.

According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York, as part of the Department of Justice, Irvin Cartagena was arrested in Puerto Rico on Tuesday. Cartagena, also known as “Green Eyes,” is accused of distributing fentanyl-laced heroin that ultimately led to Williams’ death.

Michael K. Williams
Michael K. Williams attends Netflix’s FYSEE event for “When They See Us” at Netflix FYSEE at Raleigh Studios on June 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

In addition to Cartagena, Hector Robles, Luis Cruz, and Carlos Macci were also arrested on Tuesday, all in New York City. Robles, known as “Oreja,” Cruz, known as “Mostro” and Macci, known as “Carlito,” were presented in federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday. Cartagena will be presented in federal court in Puerto Rico.

All four men are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl analog, fentanyl, and heroin. They face a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, as well as a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.

Cartagena has an additional charge of causing death in connection with the narcotics conspiracy, which has a maximum life sentence and a mandatory minimum 20-year sentence.

Michael K. Williams
Michael K. Williams is seen in his award show look for the 27th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on March 31, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images)

“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,” said U.S. Attorney Damian 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.”

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell commended the work of Brooklyn narcotics and precinct detectives for their work in the investigation that led to the arrests.

“It is a level of dedication the NYPD carries out in every case, from beginning to end, in every instance where criminals peddle narcotics and prey on the innocent, and where people die from illegal drugs,” Sewell said. “I commend our NYPD investigators, working closely with their federal partners in the United States Attorney’s Office, in the Southern District of New York, for their work to clean up this long-embattled block in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and for their sustained commitment to follow every lead this case wrought, from New York City to Puerto Rico and back.”

According to the criminal complaint, Cartagena, 39, Robles, 57, Cruz, 56, and Macci, 70, have been part of a drug trafficking organization (DTO), near 224 South 3rd Street in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood since at least August 2020. They have been accused of selling heroin laced with fentanyl and a fentanyl analogue in and around that area.

Members of the DTO sold Williams fentanyl-laced heroin on or around Sept. 5, 2021, one day before he was found dead in his apartment, also located in Williamsburg. Surveillance camera footage allegedly captured Cartagena facilitating the hand-to-hand transaction.

The complaint states that Cartagena, Robles, Cruz, and Macci continued to sell fentanyl-laced heroin throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan, despite knowing that Williams suffered a fatal overdose.

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