Four arrested in connection with Michael K. Williams’ overdose

Michael K. Williams

Michael K. Williams
Photo: Rodrigo Varela (Getty Images)

Authorities arrested four individuals connected to the death of actor Michael K. Williams, who died of a drug overdose last September. Among those charged, Irvin Cartagena stands accused of selling fentanyl-laced heroin to Williams the day before his body was found, said The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York in a statement earlier today. Per Variety, three others were also arrested on “a charge of heroin and fentanyl conspiracy.” They include Hector Robles, Luis Cruz, and Carlos Macci.

Investigators tracked down the four suspects using a mix of location data to pinpoint where Williams traveled the day before his overdose. Additionally, authorities used sidewalk surveillance cameras to obtain images of Williams meeting Cartagena and engaging in a hand-to-hand exchange. After their meeting, Willaims returned home and did not leave his apartment again.

“This is a public health crisis,” said Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, in a statement announcing the charges, reports The New York Times. “And it has to stop. Deadly opioids like fentanyl and heroin don’t care about who you are or what you’ve accomplished.”

NYPD also corroborated the presence of fentanyl in the heroin by matching the heroin glassines found in Williams’ apartment with those obtained by undercover NYPD informants. Both glassines featured the logo for “AAA Insurance,” and both contained heroin laced with fentanyl.

While only Cartagena is accused of Williams’ death, which carries a mandatory 20-year prison sentence, all four face a charge of conspiracy to distribute, a five-year mandatory minimum.

Williams died suddenly last September, with the details of his death mainly staying out of the press. However, as noted by Variety, Williams was very open about his struggles with addiction. Roughly two weeks after his death, New York City’s medical examiner declared his death an accidental overdose caused by “acute intoxication by the combined effects of fentanyl, p-fluorofentanyl, heroin, and cocaine.” He was 54.

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