The Philip Seymour Hoffman case took another turn last night when New York City cops busted three men and one woman in a seedy downtown apartment, all in connection with the investigation into the Capote star’s death from an apparent heroin overdose Sunday.
At the same time, a police spokesperson revealed that heroin found in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s apartment was tested and found negative for the additive fentanyl, a potent, morphine-like painkiller often mixed with heroin by dealers to extend their supply of the drug. Fentanyl-laced heroin has been linked to 37 other heroin overdose deaths in the northeast in recent months.
Police received information last night that the heroin purchased by Philip Seymour Hoffman came from a drug ring operating out of a Mott Street tenement. They raided the place and sometime around 7 pm and found over 350 bags of heroin in three different apartments in the building with the address 302-4 Mott Street, near New York’s Chinatown district.
But while baggies of the drug found in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s $10,000-per-month apartment in the West Village were marked with the brand names “Ace of Spades” and “Ace of Hearts,” according to police sources who spoke to New York’s Daily News, none of the baggies of heroin found in the Mott Street apartments were marked with those labels.
So the connection between the drug dealers busted Tuesday night and the heroin that apparently killed Philip Seymour Hoffman remains murky.
Arrested in connection with the Philip Seymour Hoffman heroin case were two middle-aged-men, and a man and woman both in their 20s.
Robert Vineberg, 57, and Thomas Cushman, 48, both now face charges of felony criminal possession of a controlled substance while Cushman faces an additional charge of criminal use of drug paraphernalia.
A pair of 22-year-olds, Max Rosenbloom and Juliana Luchkiw, were charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia, criminal use of a controlled substance, as well as unlawful possession of marijuana.
There are conflicting reports as to whether all four suspects in the Philip Seymour Hoffman heroin case lived in the building. One report said that Cushman lived elsewhere. But the building’s superintendent told the Daily News that all four lived in apartments on the unkempt building’s fourth and fifth floors.
The super, who gave his name to the paper only as Victor, said that though the four were “quiet” and “not a problem,” they nonetheless drew a steady stream of visitors to their apartments.
Even so, Victor told the paper, “I didn’t suspect drug traffic.”
Reports say that Philip Seymour Hoffman withdrew $1,200 cash in six transactions from an ATM machine at a grocery store near where he lived on Saturday night.
While toxicology reports are not yet complete, Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his apartment of an apparent heroin overdose Sunday morning, wearing shorts and a T-shirt, with his glasses on his head and a needle in his arm.