Hoffman cause of death undetermined, 4 charged for drugs

Wed Feb 5, 2014 6:43pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Chris Francescani

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Three men and one woman arrested in New York have been charged with drugs offences possibly connected to narcotics found at the home of film star Philip Seymour Hoffman following his death of an apparent heroin overdose, law enforcement officials said on Wednesday.

Although Hoffman was found with a syringe in his arm, the cause of his death remained undetermined and more study was needed, said Julie Bolcer, a spokeswoman for New York City's Chief Medical Examiner.

The four were arrested on Tuesday during a raid on a building in lower Manhattan after police traced what they believed to have been the source of the heroin suspected of killing the Oscar-winning actor.

New York police Sergeant Thomas Antonetti, without linking the arrests to Hoffman's death, named the four as Robert Vineberg, 57; Thomas Cushman, 48; Max Rosenblum and Juliana Luchkiw, both 22.

Vineberg and Cushman were charged with felony drug possession and Rosenblum and Luchkiw with misdemeanor drug possession, he said.

Separate police sources said the raid was conducted in connection with Hoffman's death and scores of bags of what appeared to be heroin were recovered.

A police spokesman told Reuters on Tuesday evening that heroin found in Hoffman's apartment after his death was not cut or mixed with fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic believed by health authorities to be responsible for scores of overdose deaths in recent months.

"There was no fentanyl found in the drugs," the spokesman said.   Continued...

A photo of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman is pictured as part of a makeshift memorial in front of his apartment building in New York February 3, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri