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Drug dealer involved in death of actor Michael K. Williams sentenced to 10 years in prison
Featured Image Credit: Amy Sussman/FilmMagic / SDNY

Drug dealer involved in death of actor Michael K. Williams sentenced to 10 years in prison

Irvin Cartagena was sentenced for providing The Wire actor with fentanyl-laced heroin, causing his death.

The drug dealer who supplied actor Michael K. Williams with fentanyl-laced heroin which caused his death has been sentenced.

New York-based Irvin Cartagena, 40, of Aibonito, Puerto Rico, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams on Friday (19 August).

Cartagena pleaded guilty in April for conspiring to distribute drugs.

Williams died at his home in New York aged 54 after overdosing on a combination of heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and p-fluorofentanyl, the New York Chief Medical Examiner confirmed.

The beloved actor was found unconscious and unresponsive by his nephew at his apartment on September 6, 2021.

His death was ruled an accident and was met with an outpouring of tributes from his famous collaborators, including director Spike Lee and The Wire creator David Simon.

Cartagena faced a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and could have faced up to 40 years behind bars.

Williams received acclaim for his role in The Wire.

He apologised before his sentence was announced, telling the courtroom: “I am very sorry for my actions. When we sold drugs, we never intended for anyone to lose their life.”

Judge Abrams said that those who knew Cartagena called him ‘helpful and humble and hardworking’ when he was not using drugs himself, adding: “I’m hoping that with treatment, it will help you move forward on a more productive and law-abiding path."

Prosecutors had requested a sentence of at least 12 years while the court’s Probation Department had recommended a 20-year term after citing Cartagena’s 14 previous drug-related convictions, including burglary, robbery and prison escape.

However, Judge Abrams said the recommendations were ‘simply too high’, and sentenced Cartagena to 10 years in prison.

"This sentence, while severe, is sufficient but not greater than necessary,” the Judge said.

Irvin Cartagena, also known as 'Green Eyes', was part of a drug trafficking organisation that ran between August 2020 and February 2022 in Brooklyn, prosecutors said.

Cartagena sold drugs 'in broad daylight.
Department of Justice

Cartagena and his associates sold the actor heroin laced with fentanyl and fentanyl analog.

They continued to sell the heroin ‘in broad daylight’ even after knowing that Williams had died, according to a news release from the Justice Department.

Three other men have been arrested for allegedly distributing heroin laced with fentanyl.

Former President Barack Obama once described Williams' The Wire character, a gay hitman, as his favourite character on the show.

Williams had been Emmy-nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his roles in When They See Us, The Night Of and Bessie.

He also worked in the music industry with icons including the late George Michael while he also appeared in Madonna’s ‘Secret’ music video in 1994.

Topics: Celebrity, News, US News, Crime, Drugs