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'senseless death'

Man pleads guilty to selling Michael K. Williams fentanyl-laced heroin

A man accused of selling the drugs to Michael K. Williams that resulted in the actor's overdose death has pleaded guilty. 

Irvin Cartagena pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiring to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and fentanyl analogue, a charge that carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison, the Southern District of New York announced. Prosecutors said the 39-year-old distributed the fentanyl-laced heroin that led to the actor's death.

"Irvin Cartagena sold fentanyl-laced heroin in broad daylight in New York City, feeding addiction and causing tragedy," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. "In doing so, he dealt the fatal dose that killed Michael K. Williams." 

Williams, best known for his role as Omar Little on The Wire, was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment in September 2021. Five months later, four defendants were arrested in connection with his death, including Cartagena. Hector Robles, Luis Cruz, and Carlos Macci were also arrested as alleged co-conspirators. Macci pleaded guilty Tuesday to narcotics conspiracy, but Robles and Cruz have both pleaded not guilty, according to The New York Times.  

Prosecutors said that even though they knew Williams died after he was sold their drugs, Cartagena and his co-conspirators continued selling the fentanyl-laced heroin. "This office and our law enforcement partners will continue to hold accountable the dealers who push this poison, exploit addiction, and cause senseless death in our community," Williams said. Cartagena faces up to 40 years in prison.