Four alleged members of a Brooklyn drug trafficking organization have been charged in the overdose death of ‘The Wire” actor Michael K. Williams, authorities announced Wednesday.
The four defendants were arrested Tuesday, including one defendant who was arrested in Puerto Rico, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Damian Williams and New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell.
Irvin “Green Eyes” Cartegena, Hector “Oreja,” Robles, Luis “Mostro” Cruz and Carlos “Carlito” Macci are each charged with narcotics conspiracy for possession of, with intent to distribute, fentanyl and heroin and are facing minimum sentences of 5 years to a maximum of 40 in federal prison, according to the release. Cartegena is also charged with causing the death of Williams in connection with the narcotics conspiracy, and could face 20 years to life behind bars. (RELATED: Police Find 100 Bags Of Fentanyl In Dead 13-Year-Old Boy’s Bedroom)
The men are believed to be members of a drug trafficking organization that has operated out of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood since August 2020, according to the release.
The release contained screenshots of surveillance footage which captured Cartegena distributing the drugs to Williams in a hand-to-hand transaction on or about Sept. 5, 2021. Williams was found dead in his home on Sept. 6.
The authorities in Manhattan have arrested four men who they say sold fentanyl-laced heroin to the actor Michael K. Williams, best known for his role in “The Wire.” https://t.co/x5DkSJApkG
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 2, 2022
The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner stated at the time that Williams’ death was caused by “acute intoxication” of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine, and ruled the death as an accident, the New York Post previously reported.
The defendants allegedly continued to sell fentanyl-laced heroin in Brooklyn and Manhattan, despite knowing that Williams had died from one of their products, according to authorities. (RELATED: Border Officials Seized More Fentanyl In The First Four Months Of 2021 Than During The Same Period In 2020)
Brooklyn police detectives “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 a statement.
“Deadly opioids like fentanyl and heroin don’t care about who you are or what you’ve accomplished,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. “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 continue to hold accountable the dealers who push this poison, exploit addiction, and cause senseless death.”
Williams was known for his role as Omar Little on HBO hit drama series “The Wire” and as Albert “Chalky” White on “Boardwalk Empire,” the latter earning him a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for his performance.
Williams was publicly outspoken about his lifelong struggle with addiction, specifically during his time on set of “The Wire.”
“When I came through those doors I was broken,” he told American University radio in 2016. “This was, I would say, around the … third season of ‘The Wire’ … I was on drugs. I was in jeopardy of destroying everything I had worked so hard for, and I came in those doors and I met a man who had never even heard of ‘The Wire,’ much less watched it. He and I had been joined to the hip ever since, and one of his biggest sayings was, ‘I’m going to love you until you learn to love yourself.’”