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


Originally Published: 19 AUG 23 14:20 ET By Zenebou Sylla, CNN

(CNN) — A Brooklyn man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for selling fentanyl-laced heroin to actor and producer Michael K. Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced.

Irvin Cartagena, 40, of Aibonito, Puerto Rico, also received an additional five-year sentence of supervised release for conspiring to distribute heroin, fentanyl and fentanyl analogue, a news release Friday stated.

As part of the conspiracy, Cartagena distributed the fentanyl-laced heroin that resulted in Williams’ death, according to the release.

“Michael K. Williams tragically lost his life after using the drugs sold to him by Cartagena. Although their product had already claimed one life, Cartagena and his co-conspirators continued to sell potentially lethal fentanyl-laced heroin,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.

“This office will tenaciously continue our enforcement efforts against unscrupulous drug dealers who distribute poison and exacerbate the scourge of the fentanyl epidemic,” Williams said.

Cartagena, also known as “Green Eyes,” was one of four men charged with being part of a drug-trafficking ring that sold the deadly fentanyl-laced heroin to Williams.

Cartagena pleaded guilty in early April to one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, heroin and other drugs, CNN previously reported.

Prosecutors alleged Cartagena was the person who conducted “the hand-to-hand transaction” with Williams just before the actor, best known for his role as Omar Little on HBO’s “The Wire,” died of an accidental overdose.

Cartagena and his co-conspirators continued to sell fentanyl-laced heroin in broad daylight amid residential apartment buildings in Brooklyn and Manhattan, the US Attorney’s Office said.

He then fled to Puerto Rico after Williams’ death, where he was ultimately arrested in February 2022, the release stated.

Williams was found dead in his New York City apartment in 2021 in what the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office ruled an accidental overdose. He was 54.

Fentanyl, an opioid considered 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, was found in 80% of New York City drug overdose death cases in 2021, according to the city’s Department of Health.

CNN has tried to identify an attorney for Cartagena for comment.

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