Man who sold Michael K. Williams drugs that killed him sentenced
Irvin Cartagena sold The Wire actor the fentanyl-laced heroin that led to his accidental overdose in 2021.
Cartagena, known as “Green Eyes,” previously pled guilty to a narcotics conspiracy charge after he was accused of trafficking drugs out of a Brooklyn apartment alongside three codefendants, who also all pled guilty, per the outlet. His involvement in Williams’ death also reportedly factored into his sentencing.
The 40-year-old man apologized for his role in the actor’s death during his sentencing. “I am very sorry for my actions,” Cartagena said through an interpreter. “When we sold the drugs, we never intended for anyone to lose their life.”
Michael K. Williams
Michael K. Williams
| Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Judge Ronnie Abrams said any of the other men involved with the fatal drugs could have been charged that day. However, she noted that the deal caused “very clear and very tragic” repercussions, especially since Cartagena knew the heroin contained fentanyl and Williams did not.
She added that the length of his sentence was intended to act as a warning to Cartagena, who is a drug addict and has previous drug convictions, as well as to others selling the deadly drug. “It’s got to stop,” Abrams said.
Cartagena’s sentencing comes less than a month after his codefendant Carlos Macci was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. The other two men involved will have their sentencing hearings next month.
Before his sentencing, Williams’ nephew Dominic Dupont pleaded for compassion for the 72-year-old Macci. “It weighs heavy on me to see someone be in a situation he’s in,” he said, per the Associated Press. “I understand what it is to be system-impacted.”
The Wire creator David Simon also asked for mercy in a three-page letter to the judge. “What happened to Mike is a grievous tragedy,” he wrote. “But I know that Michael would look upon the undone and desolate life of Mr. Macci and know two things with certainty: First, that it was Michael who bears the fuller responsibility for what happened.” And second, he added, “No possible good can come from incarcerating a 71-year-old soul, largely illiterate, who has himself struggled with a lifetime of addiction” and sold drugs not for the money, but “rather as someone caught up in the diaspora of addiction himself.”
Williams — whose TV credits include The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, and Lovecraft Country and films such as Inherent Vice, Gone Baby Gone, and 12 Years a Slave — was found dead at the age of 54 in his Brooklyn penthouse in September 2021.
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