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4 men arrested in connection to Michael K. Williams' overdose death

Michael K. Williams arrives for the 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. The actor died in September of an accidental drug overdose. File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI
1 of 2 | Michael K. Williams arrives for the 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. The actor died in September of an accidental drug overdose. File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Authorities have arrested four men on charges linked to the overdose death of actor Michael K. Williams, the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan announced Wednesday.

The Wire and Boardwalk Empire actor was found dead at the age of 54 in his Brooklyn apartment Sept. 6. The New York City Medical Examiner's Office announced later that month that he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine.

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The New York Police Department and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York unsealed criminal complaints accusing four men of distributing the fentanyl-laced heroin that led to Williams' death.

Irvin Cartagena, 39; Luis Cruz, 56; Carlos Macci, 70; and Hector Robles, 57, each face charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl analogue, fentanyl and heroin. If convicted, the charge carries a punishment of 5 years to 40 years in prison.

Cartagena also faces a charge of causing Williams' death in connection with the narcotics conspiracy, which carries a sentence of 20 years to life in prison.

Federal prosecutors said the four men operated a drug trafficking organization since at least August 2020 in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. The men allegedly sold Williams fentanyl-laced heroin and a fentanyl analogue, with Cartagena accused of conducting the hand-to-hand transaction with Williams on or about Sept. 5.

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A statement from the U.S. attorney's office said despite knowing Williams died after being sold the drugs, they continued to sell them to others.

"As these federal charges show, the NYPD's narcotics and precinct detectives in Brooklyn North lived this case, never relenting in their investigation until they could bring a measure of justice to Michael K. Williams and his family," NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in a statement.

A representative for the New York City Medical Examiner's Office said it's unclear if Williams took all three -- cocaine, fentanyl and heroin -- together or separately, or whether he was aware he consumed all three.

The actor previously had been open about his history of drug use.

The five-time Emmy nominee's other credits include 12 Years a Slave, The Night Of and Lovecraft Country.

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