An elderly drug dealer was sentenced Tuesday to 2 1/2 years in prison in connection with the overdose death of actor Michael K. Williams.
Carlos Macci, 72, was one of four men arrested on drug charges related to the death of Williams, best known for his role as the feared mugger Omar Little on HBO’s «The Wire.»
Macci was sentenced to 30 months in prison, plus three years of supervised release, with the first year in an inpatient drug treatment center.
Williams, 54, died in September 2021 after taking heroin laced with fentanyl. The day before, she bought the drugs from a member of Macci’s team in Brooklyn. The exchange was caught on surveillance video and described by New York federal prosecutors in court documents.
Macci and the other three defendants continued to sell the batch of fentanyl-laced heroin even after Williams’ fatal overdose made headlines, according to prosecutors.
Macci pleaded guilty in April to possession and distribution of narcotics.
His attorney, Benjamin Zeman, requested a sentence of time served, citing Macci’s advanced age and seedy past. He dropped out of school in the second grade, never learned to read and write and has battled drug addiction for most of his life, Zeman said in court documents.
«Prior to his involvement in this crime, Carlos Macci had lived an unstable and aimless life, fueled by drugs,» Zeman wrote in a sentencing memorandum. «He’s been a victim of the failed drug war like anyone else. But we also have to try to imagine an ending to his story that’s shrouded in hope.»
Federal prosecutors in New York asked the judge to sentence Macci to at least four years to «reflect the seriousness of the crime» and «deter future criminal conduct by this defendant and others who could sell deadly narcotics in the community.»
David Simon, co-creator of «The Wire,» sent a three-page letter to the judge asking for clemency for Macci. Simon was close with Williams, who was open about his struggle with addiction.
«No good can come from imprisoning a (72-year-old) largely illiterate soul who has struggled with a lifetime of addiction and who has not become involved in the street peddling of narcotics with ambitions for success and profit, but rather as someone caught up in the addiction diaspora,» Simon wrote.
«Michael would look at Mr. Macci and hope against hope that this moment he finds himself in could prove redemptive, that the years he has left are something more, and that, by the grace of love and indulgence, something human and dignified can be rescued from tragedy.»
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.