A 72-year-old drug dealer has been arrested and sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison in connection with the overdose death of Michael K. Williams in 2021.
In September of 2021, “The Wire” actor Michael K. Williams passed away from an overdose of fentanyl laced heroin. It was confirmed that Williams had purchased the drugs from a crew member of Carlos Macci, the 72-year-old man who was given his 2.5 year sentence yesterday. Macci was one of four men to be arrested for drug charges in connection with Williams’ death.
Despite Williams’ death making national headlines, Macci and the other three defendants knowingly continued to sell the fentanyl-laced batch of heroin. Macci pleaded guilty to possession and distribution of narcotics back in April. His lawyer, Benjamin Zeman, tried all he could to reduce Macci’s sentencing — citing Macci’s difficult childhood, where in he never learned to read or write, into Macci’s adulthood struggles with drug addiction, and finally his advanced age.
The prosecutors pressed for a 4 year sentence, pointing out that Macci already has over 20 prior convictions, many drug related. Co-creator of “The Wire, ” David Simon, wrote the judge a three-page long letter asking for their mercy on Macci, despite the grudge one would expect him to hold in this case. Simon and Williams were very close and often talked about Williams’ addiction problems.
Simon wrote, “No possible good can come from incarcerating a 72-year-old soul, largely illiterate, who has struggled with a lifetime of addiction and who has not engaged in street-level sales of narcotics with ambitions of success and profit but rather as someone caught up in the diaspora of addiction himself. Michael would look at Mr. Macci and hope against hope that this moment in which he finds himself might prove redemptive, that his remaining years might amount to something more, and that by the grace of love and leniency, something humane and worthy might be rescued from the tragedy.”
With all perspectives considered, including that of Williams’ nephew, Judge Abrams sentenced Macci to 30 months in prison. The sentence was certainly impacted by Macci’s advanced age as well as his harsh upbringing and past addiction issues. She discussed the terrible effects of the drug epidemic in the country, telling Macci that selling drugs “not only cost Mr. Williams his life, but it’s costing you your freedom.”