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Feds Arrest Four In Brooklyn For Selling Michael K. WIlliams Fentanyl-Laced Heroin
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that four men from the trendy Williamsburg neighborhood had been arrested for selling the fentanyl-laced heroin that killed the actor in September.
Four men have been arrested on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics and one is also charged with causing the death of actor Michael K. Williams as part of that conspiracy.
The office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced on Wednesday that four men — Irvin “Green Eyes" Cartagena, 39, Hector “Oreja” Robles, 57, Luis “Mostro” Cruz, 56, and Carlos “Carlito" Macci, 70 — have been charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl analogue, fentanyl, and heroin. Cartagena was additionally charged with causing the death of Williams in connection with the narcotics conspiracy.
All the men face between 5 and 40 years in prison on the narcotics charges if convicted; Cartagena faces 20 years to life if convicted on his charge in the death of Williams.
Officials say that Cartagena was arrested in Puerto Rico on Tuesday, while the other men were arrested in New York the same day.
Prosecutors allege that the drug trafficking organization in which the men were involved began operating out of an apartment at and in the area around, 224 South 3rd Street in the tony Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg in August 2020. (StreetEasy suggests that two-bedroom apartments in the hundred-year-old building start at around $2,000 per month.)
They charge that members of the organization sold Willams the fentanyl-laced heroin that killed him on Sept. 5, 2021, and that Cartagena was the specific man that handed it to him. They also provided surveillance photos taken outside an adjacent building, purportedly of the transaction taking place.
Google Maps shows that a building at 232 South 3rd Street, which is two doors down, has a prominent sign announcing the presence of surveillance cameras, one of which is apparently pointed east towards 224.
Prosecutors say that the men were aware that Williams died as a result of the drugs they sold him, but continued to distribute the fentanyl-laced heroin in both Brooklyn and Manhattan.
"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," NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in a statement provided by DOJ.
"The Southern District of New York and our law enforcement partners will not give up," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a videotaped statement. "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.”
Williams was found dead around 2:00 p.m. on Sept. 6 by a relative at his own Williamsburg apartment, the New York Post reported, less than three-quarters of a mile away from where he reportedly bought the drugs. Authorities said at the time that it appeared the actor had overdosed; the medical examiner confirmed on Sept. 24 that he had died of "acute drug intoxication" and had cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and parafluorofentanyl (a fentanyl analogue the DEA only began warning about in 2020, but which became more prominent in overdose deaths in 2021) in his system when he died, NPR reported.