Photo: LA Times
Four men have been charged by federal prosecutors in the death of actor Michael K. Williams, widely recognized for his character in the TV series “The Wire.”
It was ruled by the medical examiner that the cause of death was “acute intoxication by the combined effects of fentanyl, p-fluorofentanyl, heroin and cocaine.”
The men were arrested by New York police officers for supposedly selling Williams the drugs which caused the overdose. These men were part of a Brooklyn drug trafficking crew. One day before the death, a surveillance clip recorded a hand-to-hand drug deal between Williams and Irvin Cartagena, according to US Attorney Damian Williams.
Cartagena, 39, had made drug transactions to underground informants for months before William’s death, as per a federal complaint. The suspect was captured in Puerto Rico and charged with a federal crime: narcotics conspiracy.
57-year-old Hector Robles, 56-year-old Luis Cruz, and 70-year-old Carlos Macci are expected to face the federal court as well. The criminal complaint says that all of them “continued to sell fentanyl-laced heroin in broad delight” outside apartments in the Williamsburg community in Brooklyn, “despite knowing Williams died after being sold the product.”
“This is a public health crisis,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams in a statement. “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.”
Raised in the East Flatbush area of Brooklyn, Williams was widely recognized for his character in “The Wire” as Omar Little. “The Wire” is HBO’s smashing series in the 2000s. The program outlined the gangland of drugs and crime in Baltimore. Omar Little, a proud member of the LGBT and a Black man in the gangland, was portrayed as unconventional.
Williams later starred in various series such as “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Night Of” and “Lovecraft Country.” He obtained five Emmy nominations throughout his career. He was blatant about his personal battle with drug addictions as well.