Cartagena was hit with the sentence last Friday (18 August) after being convicted of “conspiring to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and fentanyl analogue.”
US Attorney Damian Williams, taking aim at the convicted Cartagena, said: “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.”
Michael K. Williams, best known for his gritty portrayal of Omar Little in HBO’s The Wire, was widely celebrated for his talent and versatility as an actor. Over the years, he graced both the big and small screens, captivating audiences with his compelling performances. Williams also shone in series such as Boardwalk Empire, as the gangster Chalky White, and films like 12 Years a Slave.
According to a report by the Associated Press, whilst dishing out the verdict, US District Judge Ronnie Abrams declared: “I’m hopeful that with treatment… it will help you move forward on a more productive and law-abiding path.” While the prosecutors were baying for at least a 12-year lockdown, Abrams felt the “sentence, while severe, is sufficient but not greater than necessary.”
On September 5, 2021, members of Cartagena’s drug trafficking gang sold Michael K. Williams heroin, which was laced with fentanyl and a fentanyl analogue, with Cartagena executing the transaction.
Before the hammer came down, Cartagena expressed remorse: “I am very sorry for my actions. When we sold the drugs, we never intended for anyone to lose their life.”
Q&A: After a 2d sentencing for fentanyl death of Michael K. Williams – this one, of Cartagena, to a decade – Inner City Press asked Williams' nephew Dominic Dupont what the thought. He: Nobody won here today. #EndlessSentences story soon https://t.co/Z3wUjWgUV0 pic.twitter.com/8lHPlLlT3z
— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) August 18, 2023
In total, four individuals have been slapped with charges over the death of Williams.
One of Williams’s last roles was in Breaking, released earlier this year. He played hostage negotiator Eli Bernard, who attempts to form a bond with Brian (John Boyega) in the hopes of de-escalating the situation.