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Police Make Arrests in Connection With Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death

Hoffman allegedly purchased around $1,000 worth of heroin from a pair of dealers, though none of the bags seized in the raid were stamped “Ace of Spades.”

Image: 

Hoffman at the 2012 Venice Film
Festival. Shutterstock

By Shawn Dwyer

02/05/14

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According to the New York Times, four people were arrested in Lower Manhattan Tuesday evening following a police raid that was part of an investigation into the overdose death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.

In piecing together Hoffman’s final hours, law enforcement sources have said that the actor purchased roughly $1,000 worth of heroin from a pair of drug dealers near his West Village apartment around 8 p.m. Saturday night. He allegedly withdrew around $1,200 from an ATM on Greenwich Street in six installments and immediately made the transaction. Hoffman was found dead on his bathroom floor around 11 a.m. the following morning.

Celebrity gossip site TMZ reported that the police received a tip from a heroin user who claimed to have shared the same dealer as Hoffman, which led to investigators executing warrants to search an apartment on 302 Mott Street. Police found 350 glassine envelopes allegedly containing heroin, though the bags did not have the “Ace of Spades” stamp like the bags found in Hoffman’s apartment.

Police arrested Robert Vineberg, 57, and Thomas Kushman, 48, and charged them with felony drug possession. Max Rosenblum and Juliana Luchkiw, both 22, were also arrested and charged with misdemeanor drug possession. According to TMZ, Vineberg is a musician who goes by the name Robert Aaron and has played saxophone for Mick Jagger, David Bowie, and Amy Winehouse.

Department spokesman Stephen Davis said that preliminary tests of the heroin found at Hoffman’s apartment showed “no traces of fentanyl” and added that investigators had taken representative samples of the evidence to reach their conclusion. Fentanyl-tainted heroin was suspected as a potential culprit in Hoffman’s death following a rash of overdose deaths plaguing the northeast in recent weeks.

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