Michael K. Williams was a formerly beloved star of the TV shows “The Wire” and “Boardwalk Empire,” before sadly succumbing to a lethal dose of heroin on September 6, 2021. The drug overdose occurred when Williams purchased heroin that was unknowingly spiked with fentanyl. The drug exchange allegedly occurred at the TV star’s penthouse in Brooklyn.
Police say that the 54-year-old was known to struggle with drugs throughout his life. He’d spoken about this addiction before getting into the television world and while he worked for HBO.
Investigators looking into Williams’ death quickly discovered surveillance footage that showed Irving Cartagena, a 39-year-old, making a hand-to-hand transaction with Williams the day before his death. They further discovered that Williams’ death was a direct result of using the laced heroin.
Even after Williams passed away, police say Cartagena continued to sell the laced heroin in broad daylight within various residential apartment buildings. Early in April, Cartagena plead guilty to selling the fatal substance. He could face up to 40 years in prison when he gets his sentence.
Drug Induced Homicide
In the past, some individuals have perpetuated the claims that consuming and selling drugs are both victimless crimes, but sometimes, there are victims that suffer as a result of controlled substances. When a fatality happens, it’s becoming increasingly common for police departments to seek out serious charges against the dealer.
Depending on where you live, this type of scenario could cause you to face charges like involuntary manslaughter, drug-induced homicide, or even first-degree murder.
All of these crimes come with extremely serious criminal penalties. On top of facing charges for the death itself, these dealers often face additional criminal charges in the form of drug trafficking, which is a severe criminal offense by itself.
In New York, you can face a minimum of 8-20 years in prison for drug trafficking. Drug trafficking is a major felony, and the additional homicide-related charges will also be a felony. Considering the very serious nature of these charges, it makes the most sense to talk with a criminal defense attorney if you ever get accused of peddling drugs that later cause a death.
If you’re facing drug or homicide-related charges in New York, then you can rely on the expertise of our lawyers to help you get through your situation. Schedule a case review with our attorneys now to discuss your situation in more detail.