Here's what they're being charged for.
Four people have been arrested in connection with the death of actor Michael K. Williams. Hector Robles, Luis Cruz, Carlos Macci, and Irvin Cartagena were charged with narcotics conspiracy for selling fentanyl-laced heroin to Williams, leading to his death in September of last year.
Williams, the beloved star known for his role as Omar Little in The Wire, was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment on Sept. 6 in what the medical examiner ruled as an overdose involving “fentanyl, p-fluorofentanyl, heroin, and cocaine.” He was 54. The men who were arrested had allegedly sold Williams a fatal dose the day before, in a hand-to-hand transaction that was captured on surveillance.
Authorities say that the men were part of a drug trafficking crew that operated in Williamsburg, where Williams lived, and continued to sell fentanyl-laced heroin even, apparently, after knowing their sale to Williams had led to his death. In a statement announcing the arrests, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams linked the crime to a “public health crisis,” leading some to criticize the usage of Williams’s death as reasoning for advocating for the war on drugs.
When Williams died last year, Hollywood and the wider public mourned the actor as a uniquely sensitive star whose roles were groundbreaking in redefining and assessing Black masculinity. In Brooklyn, and specifically East Flatbush, where he grew up, Williams was remembered as someone who, despite his success, always returned, gave back, and never forgot where he came from.
“He always came back here and looked out for the place where he started,” Jessica Ortiz, a childhood friend who grew up with Williams said at his vigil in Flatbush last year. “The characters he portrayed, like the gangsters, that wasn’t him. He was a real soft, gentle, kind, give-you-the-shirt-off-his-back kind of guy.”
“Even after being on The Wire, he never stayed away,” another Flatbush resident, Nena Ansari, said. “He still walked through the community like he had never been on TV. He wasn’t a star to himself. He was just a regular person.”