Dealer Who Sold Michael K. Williams Fatal Dose of Heroin Is Sentenced

The man who sold The Wire actor Michael K. Williams a fatal dose of heroin was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday, according to the New York Times.

Irvin Cartagena, 40, was part of a group of four men trafficking drugs out of a Williamsburg apartment, and was the one who sold the actor a bag of fentanyl-laced heroin on Sept. 5, 2021.

A previous release from the U.S. Attorney’s office included screengrabs of surveillance footage showing Williams and Cartagena allegedly “executing the hand-to-hand transaction” the day before the Red Sea actor’s death. Williams died of “acute intoxication” from the effects of fentanyl, heroin, p-fluorofentanyl, and cocaine, at his Brooklyn home on Sept. 6. He was 54.

“I am very sorry for my actions,” Cartagena said in court on Friday. “When we sold the drugs, we never intended for anyone to lose their life.”

Judge Ronnie Abrams said the sentence’s length is intended to deter Cartagena, who has a past conviction of drug charges, and others selling fentanyl.

Carlos Macci, 72, one of Cartagena’s co-defendants, was sentenced to 30 months in prison in connection with Williams’ death. Macci was the first person sentenced among the group of men who have pled guilty to possessing and selling narcotics.


Following news of his death, Ava DuVernay, who co-wrote and directed the 2019 Netflix miniseries When They See Us, penned a tribute to Williams, who starred in the series.

Speaking of the legacy he left behind, DuVernay wrote: “You, brother, touched many. Through your personal interactions big and small, through your community activism, through your struggles, through your triumphs, through your glorious work. You moved many. You moved me. What you doubted in life, be certain of now, dear brother. Be certain. You were a flash of love — now gone. But never forgotten.”