Man pleads guilty to selling drugs that caused the overdose death of actor Michael K. Williams  

Francis Akhalbey April 06, 2023
Michael K. Williams was found dead in his New York City apartment in September 2021 -- Photo Credit: Eddie Hernandez Photography

Irvin Cartagena, the 39-year-old drug dealer accused of selling fentanyl-laced heroin to Michael K. Williams, which later caused the actor’s overdose death, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and fentanyl analog, BuzzFeed News reported.

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.

In February last year, the United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York announced that Cartagena, as well as three other men, had been arrested in connection with Williams’ overdose death. The three other men were identified as Hector Robles, 57, Luis Cruz, 56, and 70-year-old Carlos Macci.

Cartagena, who also goes by the moniker, “Green Eyes,” entered the guilty plea on Wednesday. “Irvin Cartagena sold fentanyl-laced heroin in broad daylight in New York City, feeding addiction and causing tragedy,” said US Attorney Damian Williams in a statement. 

“In doing so, he dealt the fatal dose that killed Michael K. Williams. This Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to hold accountable the dealers who push this poison, exploit addiction, and cause senseless death in our community.” 

Prosecutors said Cartagena belonged to a drug trafficking organization that plied their trade in Brooklyn between August 2020 and February 2022. Williams, in September 2021, is said to have purchased fentanyl-laced heroin and a fentanyl analog from Cartagena and the other accused men. 

Prosecutors also said that though the accused men ultimately got to know about Williams’ passing after purchasing the deadly drug, they “continued to sell fentanyl-laced heroin, in broad daylight, amidst residential apartment buildings, in Brooklyn and Manhattan.”

Following their arrests, court filings disclosed the men had each been charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl analog, fentanyl, and heroin. However, Macci entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge this week, per BuzzFeed News, while Robles’ and Cruz’s cases are still pending.

The Department of Justice said Cartagena faces a minimum prison sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

In a 2016 interview with NPR, Williams revealed he battled addiction during his time on The Wire, but he eventually turned to a New Jersey church for help.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 6, 2023


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