72-year-old man Carlos Macci was sentenced Tuesday to two and a half years in prison in connection with the death of actor Michael K. Williams. Williams, 54, was found dead in his New York City apartment in September 2021. His cause of death was later ruled as an accidental overdose by the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office.
Williams was famous for his role in the pioneering HBO series “The Wire”, and played the character Omar Little. Authorities said the actor purchased the fatal fentanyl-laced heroin from a member of Macci’s crew in Brooklyn.
Maci and three others — 39-year-old Irvin Cartagena, Hector Robles, 57, and Luis Cruz, 56 — were arrested in February last year and taken into custody. Court filings disclosed that they had each been charged with “conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl analogue, fentanyl, and heroin.”
Though the men got to know about Williams’ passing after purchasing the deadly drug, prosecutors said they “continued to sell fentanyl-laced heroin, in broad daylight, amidst residential apartment buildings, in Brooklyn and Manhattan.”
Macci pleaded guilty in April to possessing and distributing narcotics. U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams sentenced him to 30 months in prison on Tuesday, “plus three years of supervised release, with the first year in an inpatient drug treatment facility,” NBC News reported.
Judge Abrams told Macci that selling heroin and fentanyl “not only cost Mr Williams his life, but it’s costing your freedom”, adding that over 3,000 fatal overdoses occurred in New York City last year.
Defense attorney Benjamin Zeman asked for a sentence of time served, saying that Macci was also a victim of the drug crisis. “An additional term of incarceration won’t help Mr. Macci or Mr. Williams, and certainly won’t prevent the next overdose,” Zeman said.
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Micah F Fergenson said Macci had more than 20 previous convictions and was sentenced to time served in the last four convictions. “They had absolutely no deterrent effect,” Fergenson said.