The Man Who Sold Michael K. Williams The Drugs That Led To His Death Has Pleaded Guilty

He is expected to serve a minimum of five years in prison.

A 39-year-old Brooklyn man pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and fentanyl analog, which resulted in the death of actor Michael K. Williams.

“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 part of a drug trafficking organization that operated between August 2020 and February 2022 in Brooklyn, prosecutors said. In September 2021, Cartagena and the other members sold Williams fentanyl-laced heroin and a fentanyl analog. Even though Cartagena and the others knew Williams died, they continued to sell the heroin "in broad daylight," according to a news release from the Justice Department. Hector Robles, 57, Luis Cruz, 56, and Carlos Macci, 70, were also arrested in February 2022 for allegedly distributing the fentanyl-laced heroin. Macci pleaded guilty to a lesser charge this week, and the cases against Robles and Cruz remain pending.

Williams, who was known for his roles in The Wire and Lovecraft Country, died in September 2021 at age 54 from an overdose of fentanyl-laced heroin. During the 2021 Emmys, actor Kerry Washington paid tribute to Williams.

"Michael was a brilliantly talented actor and a generous human being who has left us far too soon," she said. "Michael, I know you're here; you wouldn't miss this. Your excellence and artistry will endure. We love you."

Others mourned Williams on social media, including Spike Lee, The Rock, Joel McHale, and more.

In 2016, Williams told NPR that he was at the height of his addiction while he was on The Wire, but he found support at a church in New Jersey.

Cartagena's guilty plea includes a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 40 years, according to the Justice Department.

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