Back in September of 2021, Hollywood was stunned by death of Michael K. Williams.
The beloved and wildly talented actor was best known for hia work on The Wire, the HBO series considered by many to be the greatest television drama of all time.
Williams passed away from an overdose at the age of 54.
Now, four men have been arrested in connection with the actor’s death.
And police are hoping that by taking these suspects off the streets, they’re helping to prevent another tragedy.
According to a report from the New York Post, Hector Robles, Luis Cruz, Carlos Macci and Irvin Cartagena, were each charged with narcotics conspiracy for distributing fentanyl-laced heroin.
Police believe that the dealers caused Williams’ death by doctoring their product with the ultra-potent painkiller.
The investigation into the circumstances surrounding Williams’ death began even before a toxicology report confirmed that the actor had indeed suffered an overdose.
Police reported finding drug paraphernalia and residue at the scene of Williams’ death on September 6.
“More specifically, the NYPD found, among other things: a white plate with white powdery residue on it, a straw on the plate, and several glassines that were marked with the stamp ‘AAA Insurance’ and scattered on and around the white plate,” reads an NYPD report from that day.
The residue was sent to a lab, where it tested positive for fentanyl.
Undercover cops were then able to trace the product back to the four men who were apprehended on Tuesday.
“This is a public health crisis. And it has to stop. Deadly opioids like fentanyl and heroin don’t care about who you are or what you’ve accomplished. They just feed addiction and lead to tragedy,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement announcing the arrests.
Macci, who has 23 prior drug convictions, appeared in court for a bail hearing on Wdnesday.
Magistrate Judge Stewart Aaron ruled that Macci be held without bail.
“They knew they sold these drugs to Michael Williams and he died,” federal prosecutor Micah Fergenson told the judge.
“They continued selling these drugs to customers knowing that might be the last thing they did.”
Many have pointed out that news of the arrests came on the eighth anniversary of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death.
The two men have frequently drawn comparisons to one another, as both were widely considered to be among the most telented actors of their generation,
And sadly, both were cut down at the height of their success by opioid overdoses.
It’s rare that the families of overdose victims receive any kind of closure with regard to their loved ones deaths, and it’s unlikely that today’s arrests will bring much comfort to those who Williams left behind.
But perhaps those who knew the actor best — along with his legion of adoring fans — can take some small confort in the fact that steps are being taken to ensure that no more lives are lost in such a senseless fashion.
Our thoughts go out to Williams’ friends and family as they continue to mourn his passing.