April 18, 2024

Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty In Overdose Death of Michael K. Williams


Michael K. Williams poses for the 2021 Critics Choice Awards on March 07, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City

Michael K. Williams poses for the 2021 Critics Choice Awards on March 07, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City (photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for ABA).

An official update nearly two years after the death of actor Michael K. Williams has been reached. On Wednesday (April 5), New York man Irvin Cartagena pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and fentanyl analog, which led to the actor’s death on September 6, 2021.

“Irvin Cartagena sold fentanyl-laced heroin in broad daylight in New York City, feeding addiction and causing tragedy,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. “In doing so, he dealt the fatal dose that killed Michael K. Williams. This Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to hold accountable the dealers who push this poison, exploit addiction, and cause senseless death in our community.”

Cartagena, also known as “Green Eyes,” was allegedly involved in a Brooklyn drug trafficking organization operated between August 2020 and February 2022. Prosecutors claim that although Cartagena and other members of the organization were privy to Williams’ death, they continued to deal drugs, “in broad daylight.” Cartagena faces a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 40 years imprisonment, per the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Williams, who was memorable for his roles in HBO shows The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, and Lovecraft Country, was found dead in his New York residence due to acute intoxication from the “combined effects of fentanyl, p-fluorofentanyl, heroin, and cocaine.” The 54-year-old Brooklyn native’s death came two weeks before he was scheduled to attend the 2021 Emmys, where he was nominated in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category for Lovecraft Country for his role as Montrose Freeman. Tobias Menzies of Netflix show The Crown would take home the award, acknowledging Williams in his acceptance speech.

In 2021, there were 2,668 overdose deaths in New York City. Fentanyl was detected in 80% of those deaths, making it the most common substance involved with overdose deaths in the city for the fifth year in a row.

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