One of the four people is charged with selling the fentanyl-laced heroin that allegedly led to Williams’ death, according to The New York Times.
Williams died on September 6, 2021, with the medical examiner’s office later confirming that the “Lovecraft Country” Emmy nominee died of a drug overdose.
Manhattan federal prosecutors now say that Irvin Cartagena was allegedly caught on a security camera selling Williams the drugs. Cartagena was arrested in Puerto Rico on February 2, via NBC News. His three alleged co-conspirators, Hector Robles, Luis Cruz, and Carlos Macci, were arrested in New York City.
All four people face conspiracy charges, with a possible sentence of up to 40 years. Cartagena faces additional charges tied to Williams’ death that could get him an additional 20 years in jail.
“This is a public health crisis, and it has to stop,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. “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 apprehension of Williams’ alleged drug dealers was announced on the same day, February 2, that Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an accidental overdose in 2014. The Oscar winner was 46.
Williams’ last film, “892,” recently made waves at 2022 Sundance Film Festival, with Bleecker Street nabbing the rights to the thriller co-starring John Boyega. “892” won the Special Jury Award for Ensemble Cast at the festival, and is set for a summer 2022 release, per Deadline.
Season two of the late Williams’ Vice TV docu-series “Black Market With Michael K. Williams” premiered to critical acclaim earlier this year. Hosted by Williams, “Black Market” explored the underworld of illicit drug trades and organized crime, including credit card scams, black market body modifications, and more.
“‘Black Market’ is a testament to Michael K. Williams’ dedication to criminal justice reform and social justice,” Jesse Angelo, President of Global News and Entertainment for Vice Media Group, said. “Michael was a longtime friend of our VICE family and shared our belief in having all voices be heard – especially those in marginalized communities. Michael’s mission was to lift those voices up and we are honored to share this collection of new episodes.”
Angelo added, “Michael was a gifted storyteller, who poured his heart and soul into his work both on and off screen. ‘Black Market’ serves as a bridge between them.”
Statement of U.S. Attorney Damian Williams on the arrests of four defendants in connection with the overdose death of Michael K. Williams pic.twitter.com/EtrtYTr7xF
— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) February 2, 2022