US Attorney Announces Four Arrests Over Overdose Death of Michael K Wiliams

            Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Keechant Sewell, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced that IRVIN CARTAGENA, a/k/a “Green Eyes,” was charged in a criminal complaint unsealed yesterday in Manhattan federal court with a narcotics conspiracy in which he distributed the fentanyl-laced heroin that resulted in the death of Michael K. Williams.  In another criminal complaint unsealed today, co-conspirators HECTOR ROBLES, a/k/a “Oreja,” LUIS CRUZ, a/k/a “Mostro,” and CARLOS MACCI, a/k/a “Carlito,” were charged as members of the fentanyl and heroin conspiracy.  CARTAGENA was arrested in Puerto Rico yesterday and is expected to be presented tomorrow in federal court in Puerto Rico.  ROBLES, CRUZ, and MACCI were arrested yesterday and will be presented today in Manhattan federal court before United States Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron.

            U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “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.  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.”

            NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said:  “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. 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.”

According to the allegations in the complaints[1]:

            Since at least in or about August 2020, a drug trafficking organization (the “DTO”) has been operating in the vicinity of 224 South 3rd Street in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.  The DTO sells heroin laced with fentanyl and a fentanyl analogue on the street in front of, and from an apartment inside of, the apartment building located at 224 South 3rd Street, among other places.  On or about September 5, 2021, members of the DTO sold Michael K. Williams heroin, which was laced with fentanyl and a fentanyl analogue, with CARTAGENA executing the hand-to-hand transaction, as shown in the below screenshots from surveillance video.

US Attorney Announces Four Arrests Over Overdose Death of Michael K Wiliams 3
US Attorney Announces Four Arrests Over Overdose Death of Michael K Wiliams 4

Williams died as a result of using that fentanyl-laced heroin.  Despite knowing that Williams died after being sold the DTO’s product, CARTAGENA, ROBLES, CRUZ, and MACCI continued to sell fentanyl-laced heroin, in broad daylight, amidst residential apartment buildings, in Brooklyn and Manhattan.     

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            CARTAGENA, 39, of Brooklyn, New York; ROBLES, 57, of Brooklyn, New York; CRUZ, 56, of Brooklyn, New York; and MACCI, 70, of Brooklyn, New York, are each charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl analogue, fentanyl, and heroin, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.  CARTAGENA is also charged with causing the death of Williams in connection with the narcotics conspiracy, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.  The statutory minimum and maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

            Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the NYPD and the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Intelligence Analysts.  Mr. Williams also thanked the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) New York Strike Force, the United States Marshals Service, the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force, and the New York Division of the DEA for their assistance in this case.

            This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Micah Fergenson and David Robles are in charge of the prosecution.

            The charges contained in the complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

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