Four men charged in actor Michael K. Williams’s overdose death, U.S. prosecutor says

Michael K Williams arrives for the premiere of
FILE PHOTO: Michael K Williams arrives for the premiere of "The Public" at the New York Public Library in New York, U.S., April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs

February 2, 2022

(Reuters) – Four men have been arrested and charged in last year’s overdose death of actor Michael K. Williams, who was best known for playing a shotgun-toting drug dealer in the HBO crime drama “The Wire,” the U.S. prosecutor in New York City said on Wednesday.

Williams, 54, was found dead in his New York apartment on Sept. 7, police said.

One of the men, Irvin Cartagena, was arrested in Puerto Rico and charged in a criminal complaint unsealed on Tuesday in Manhattan federal court with a narcotics conspiracy accusing him of distributing fentanyl-laced heroin, Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney based in Manhattan, said in a statement.

Under another criminal complaint unsealed on Wednesday, Hector Robles, Luis Cruz and Carlos Macci were charged as alleged participants in the fentanyl and heroin conspiracy. The three men, all from the New York City borough of Brooklyn, were arrested on Tuesday, authorities said.

“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,” Williams said.

New York City’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner concluded that Williams died of “acute intoxication” by the combined effects of drugs including the powerful painkiller fentanyl, heroin and cocaine.

Other television roles that won Williams praise included characters he portrayed in “Boardwalk Empire,” “Bessie” and “Lovecraft Country.”

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Editing by Will Dunham; Editing by Will Dunham and Chris Reese)