Elderly drug dealer gets 2.5 years in Michael K. Williams’ death

Written by on July 26, 2023

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An elderly drug dealer involved in the overdose death of acclaimed actor Michael K. Williams will spend two and a half years in prison.

According to NBC News, Carlos Macci, 72, was also given three years of supervised release, the first year of which he will spend in an inpatient drug rehab center. Prior to learning his fate, he apologized to the New York federal court “for what has happened.”

Given Macci’s age, U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams said she did not believe giving him a significant prison term was in the interest of justice. She also acknowledged his challenging upbringing and lengthy drug misuse history.

Michael K. Williams death
Actor Michael K. Williams posed for a portrait in July 2016 in Beverly Hills during the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. He died in 2021, and this week, a 72-year-old man linked to a crew of drug dealers blamed after his death was sentenced to 30 months in prison. (Photo: Chris Pizzello/AP, File)

However, she emphasized the severe toll fentanyl has had on Americans and claimed Macci and his crew persisted in selling the narcotic — even after knowing it had just killed a man.

While handing down her sentence, she looked directly at Macci and noted ​that selling drugs “not only cost Mr. Williams his life, but it’s costing you your freedom.”

Macci was one of four individuals arrested on drug trafficking charges after Williams’ fentanyl overdose death in September 2021.

Williams, 54, best known for playing the notorious stickup man Omar Little in HBO’s “The Wire,” died after ingesting heroin laced with fentanyl he purchased from a member of Macci’s crew the day before in Brooklyn. The exchange was captured on security footage, and federal prosecutors described it in court documents.

In April, Macci pleaded guilty to drug possession and distribution.

“The Wire” co-creator David Simon, who shared a close friendship with Williams, had penned a three-page letter to the judge pleading for leniency for Macci. 

Ben Zeman, Macci’s attorney, asked for a sentence of time served, given his client’s age and difficult upbringing. Zeman said in court documents that the defendant had battled drug addiction for most of his life, had never completed second grade and never learned to read or write.

However, federal prosecutors requested the judge sentence Macci to at least four years in prison. Prosecutor Micah Fergenson stated in court that Macci has over 20 prior convictions, most of which were for drug-related charges, and that the last four resulted in time-served sentences.

Fergenson added that Macci’s attorney said his client’s health improved during incarceration, and a longer sentence could “benefit the defendant.”

After the hearing, Williams’ nephew Dominic Dupont asserted Tuesday was a sad day with no winners. “We lost an amazing human being,” he said of the star.

Dupont spoke in court just before the judge handed down Macci’s sentence, sobbing as he recalled telling Williams’ mother that her son was dead. He said he sympathized with Macci’s struggle with addiction.

“I’m really hopeful,” he said, NBC reported, “that this will be an opportunity for people to see and understand the impacts their decisions will have on people.”

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