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4 charged in death of actor Michael K. Williams

Michael Kenneth Williams
Posted at 1:48 PM, Feb 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-02 15:48:23-05

Four men have now been charged in connection with the death of “The Wire” actor Michael K. Williams, which the New York City medical examiner's office ruled in September was due to acute drug intoxication.

In a criminal complaint that was unsealed this week in Manhattan federal court, it is alleged that fentanyl-laced heroin caused the 54-year-old actor's death. U.S. Attorney Damian Williams and New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell made the announcement on Wednesday.

The four men charged are believed to be members of a drug distribution group, according to The Hollywood Reporter. They were arrested on Tuesday, including one of the defendants who was arrested in Puerto Rico, according to a news release from officials.

"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," the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of New York said in a press release.

According to the prosecutor's office, the 4 New York men, ages ranging from 39 to 70, are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess, with intent to distribute fentanyl analogue, fentanyl and heroin. If convicted, the charges carry a minimum sentence of 4 years in prison, with a maximum of 40 years in prison.

Prosecutors said in their statement that 39-year-old Irvin Cartagena, known as "Green Eyes," is charged with causing the death of Williams, in addition to his other charges, which carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life.

It was not immediately clear who would represent Cartagena in court.

Williams shot to fame after his role as Omar Little in HBO's hit series "The Wire," where the actor made his first appearance on the show in 2002.