Four men have been arrested and charged in connection with the overdose death of Brooklyn actor Michael K. Williams, who died in September last year, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams announced Wednesday.
39-year-old Irvin Cartagena, aka “Green Eyes,” was arrested in Puerto Rico Tuesday and charged with a narcotics conspiracy, in which he distributed the fentanyl-laced heroin that resulted in Williams' death.
Co-conspirators Hector “Oreja" Robles, 57, Luis “Mostro" Cruz, 56, and Carlos “Carlito" Macci, 70, were also charged as members of the fentanyl and heroin conspiracy. Robles, Cruz and Macci were arrested in New York.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell announced the charges Wednesday.
According to an investigation, the alleged dealers were part of a drug trafficking organization that had been operating from 224 South 3rd Street in Williamsburg since at least 2020.
The group allegedly sold heroin laced with fentanyl and a fentanyl analogue on the street in front of, and from an apartment inside, the South 3rd Street building, among other places.
On September 5, 2021, Cartagena, Robles, Cruz and Macci allegedly sold Williams fentanyl and fentanyl analogue laced heroin. Surveillance footage shows Cartagena handing off the drugs.
Williams died as a result of using that fentanyl-laced heroin.
Despite knowing that Williams died after using the drugs, Cartagena, Robles, Cruz and Macci allegedly continued to sell the fentanyl-laced heroin in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said Michael K. Williams tragic overdose was part of a public health crisis that had to stop.
“Deadly opioids like fentanyl and heroin don’t care about who you are or what you’ve accomplished. They just feed addiction and lead to tragedy,” Williams said.
He added that Southern District of New York and law enforcement partners were bringing “every tool to bear” to fight dealers. “We will continue to hold accountable the dealers who push this poison, exploit addiction, and cause senseless death.”
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell added that officers had worked to “clean up this long-embattled block in Williamsburg” and thanked them for their “sustained commitment to follow every lead this case wrought, from New York City to Puerto Rico and back.”
Cartagena, Robles, Cruz and Macci are each charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl analogue, fentanyl and heroin, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
Cartagena is also charged with causing the death of Williams in connection with the narcotics conspiracy, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.