Sicklerville Man Sold Opioid Prescriptions; Drug Pusher Linked to Actor’s Fatal OD Charged

Source: NJ

Jose Colon, 37, of Sicklerville, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to a charge of distributing of controlled substances.

According to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger, documents filed in this case, and statements made in court, Colon, who is not a medical provider, used the identities of doctors with whom he worked to make and sell fraudulent prescriptions for controlled substances, including Oxycodone, Adderall, Percocet, and Xanax.

Colon used the identities of doctors with whom he once worked to make and sell the fraudulent scripts. One of the doctors was an 83-year-old who retired in early 2019. Colon would sometimes met his customers in person with a prescription pad to sell the fraudulent prescriptions for cash, and also submitted fraudulent scripts electronically to pharmacies for electronic payments through Venmo.

Colon advised his customers on how to fill the fraudulent prescriptions, including instructing them to wait until the medical practice was closed so that Colon would be able to answer any phone calls from the pharmacies questioning the validity of the fraudulent prescriptions.

Distributing controlled substances carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Colon’s sentencing is scheduled for June 7, 2022.

Irvin Cartagena, age 39; Hector Robles, 57; Luis Cruz, 56,; and Carlos Macci, 70, all from Brooklyn, are each charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl analog, fentanyl, and heroin. Authorities also allege that Cartagena sold the deadly dose of drugs to Michael K. Williams, the actor who played Omar Little on The Wire, and Albert “Chalky” White on Boardwalk Empire.

They were members of a drug crew that operated on the south side of the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York City, and sold cocaine that was laced with deadly fentanyl. Surveillance footage obtained by investigators shows Cartagena allegedly completing a hand-to-hand drug sale with Williams the day before he was found dead in his Williamsburg apartment.

Williams earned Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his performances in the HBO television biopic Bessie (2015), the Netflix drama series When They See Us (2019), and the HBO series The Night Of (2016) and Lovecraft Country (2020). He had a recurring role in the NBC sitcom Community from 2011 to 2012. He also had supporting roles in a number of films including Gone Baby Gone (2006), The Road (2009), 12 Years a Slave (2013), Inherent Vice (2014), and Motherless Brooklyn (2019).

The charges carry a mandatory sentence of 5 to 40 years in prison. Cartagena is also charged with causing the death of Williams in connection with the narcotics conspiracy, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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