Four Brooklyn men were arrested in connection to the drug overdose death of actor Michael K. Williams last year.
Irvin “Green Eyes” Cartagena, 39, was charged in a narcotics conspiracy in which he distributed the fentanyl-laced heroin that resulted in the death of Williams. Cartegena, along with Hector “Oreja” Robles, 57, Luis “Mostro” Cruz, 56 Carlos “Carlito” Macci, 70, were charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl analogue, fentanyl, and heroin.
Cartegena was arrested in Puerto Rico and is expected to appear before the federal court in Manhattan on Feb. 3, while Robles, Cruz and Macci will be arraigned on Feb. 2.
“Michael K. Williams, a prominent actor and producer, tragically overdosed in his New York City apartment from fentanyl-laced heroin. Today, along with our law enforcement partners at the NYPD, we announce the arrests of members of a drug crew, including Irvin Cartagena, the man who we allege sold the deadly dose of drugs to Michael K. Williams,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. “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. They just feed addiction and lead to tragedy. The Southern District of New York and our law enforcement partners will not give up. We will bring every tool to bear. And we will continue to hold accountable the dealers who push this poison, exploit addiction, and cause senseless death.”
Since in or about August 2020, a drug trafficking organization has been operating in the vicinity of 224 South 3rd Street in Williamsburg and sells heroin laced with fentanyl and a fentanyl analogue on the street in front of, and from an apartment inside of, the apartment building, among other places. On or about Sept. 5, 2021, members of the organization sold Williams heroin, which was laced with fentanyl and a fentanyl analogue — Cartagena was allegedly seen on surveillance footage executing the hand-to-hand transaction.
The medical examiner determined that Williams died as a result of using the laced heroin. Despite knowing this, Cartagena, Robes, Cruz, and Macci allegedly continued to sell the laced heroin in broad daylight amidst residential buildings in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
“As these federal charges show, the NYPD’s narcotics and precinct detectives in Brooklyn North lived this case, never relenting in their investigation until they could bring a measure of justice to Michael K. Williams and his family. It is a level of dedication the NYPD carries out in every case, from beginning to end, in every instance where criminals peddle narcotics and prey on the innocent, and where people die from illegal drugs,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell. “I commend our NYPD investigators, working closely with their federal partners in the United States Attorney’s Office, in the Southern District of New York, for their work to clean up this long-embattled block in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and for their sustained commitment to follow every lead this case wrought, from New York City to Puerto Rico and back.”
If convicted, all four men face a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, with Cartagena facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison for the narcotics conspiracy charge.