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4 men arrested in connection with overdose death of actor Michael K. Williams

Members of a drug organization sold heroin to the “Wire" star in September that “was laced with fentanyl and a fentanyl analogue,” a federal complaint said.
Image; Michael K. Williams at the 27th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on March 31, 2021 in Miami.
Michael K. Williams at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Miami on March 31.Rodrigo Varela / Getty Images file

Four men were charged with a narcotics conspiracy connected to the overdose death of "The Wire" actor Michael K. Williams, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

Irvin Cartagena, Carlos Macci, Luis Cruz and Hector Robles are accused of operating a drug trafficking organization, from which Williams bought laced drugs, according to documents filed by the U.S. attorney for Southern New York and unsealed Tuesday.

Members of the drug organization sold heroin to Williams in September that “was laced with fentanyl and a fentanyl analogue,” the complaint said, adding that “Williams died as a result of using that fentanyl-laced heroin.”

Williams, 54, was found dead at his apartment in Brooklyn, New York, in September. The New York City medical examiner’s office confirmed his cause of death to be an accidental overdose that included the synthetic opioids fentanyl and p-fluorofentanyl.

Authorities found surveillance video of the alleged sale on Sept. 5, with Williams wearing the same clothes he was found in the next day. Confidential informants were used to help New York police detectives identify those involved in the sale, according to the complaints.

Undercover police officers then made an estimated 14 sales from the suspected drug trafficking organization, which were recorded on video, the complaint said.

Cruz, Macci and Robles were arrested in New York City and each charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl. They were expected to appear in federal court for an initial appearance Wednesday.

They face a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and could be sentenced to a maximum of 40 years if they are convicted.

Cartagena was arrested in Puerto Rico on a charge of narcotics conspiracy causing Williams' death. He is expected to appear in court Thursday. The charge comes with a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum life sentence.

Attorney information was not immediately available for any of the four men.

Williams was perhaps most known for his role as Omar Little on “The Wire,” which ran for five seasons on HBO. He was also praised for his work as Albert “Chalky” White in “Boardwalk Empire,” and he would go on to earn an Emmy nomination for his performance as Montrose Freeman in “Lovecraft Country," both series also from HBO.

He also had roles in movies such as “Bringing Out the Dead,” “The Road,” “Gone Baby Gone,” “Life During Wartime,” “I Think I Love My Wife” and “Wonderful World.”