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Philip Seymour Hoffman Heroin Death: 4 Suspected Smack Dealers Busted — Plus 7 New Developments

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Feb. 5 2014, Published 9:18 a.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email has got all the latest updates on the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, as authorities learn more about the events that led to his fatal heroin overdose Sunday at 46.

Four On The Floor

Police in New York at around 9 p.m. Tuesday arrested four suspects at a lower Manhattan apartment on Mott Street, that Hoffman had been seen purchasing contraband at on previous occasions. Robert Vineberg, 57, Max Rosenblum, 22, Thomas Kushman 48, and Juliana Luchkiw, 22, were taken into custody in connection with criminal possession of a controlled substance, after a raid on the residence uncovered more than 350 envelopes packed with heroin, officials said. Marijuana was also found at the place. Authorities clarified that "at this time," the arrests were not linked directly to Hoffman's death. The NY Daily News reported that none of the envelopes recovered from the drug den were marked with the "Ace of Spades" or "Ace of Hearts" emblems matching those found at Hoffman's place. A building superintendent who called himself "Victor" told the paper there was lots of foot traffic going in and out of the fourth- and fifth-floor apartments the suspects resided at. “There was a lot of people in and out all the time,” Victor said, adding he “didn’t suspect drug traffic.”

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All Walks Of Life

Police told the NY Post that at least one witness has surfaced claiming to have seen the late actor buy heroin from the Mott Street address the suspects operated out of, while they were there buying drugs themselves. The witness, police told the paper, said they were stunned to see the Oscar-winner in said predicament. According to online reports, one police source said that a witness said the actor would frequent the apartment twice a week to re-up his heroin stash.

Amy Winehouse Connection

Robert Vineberg, one of the quartet arrested following the raid Tuesday, is a musician by trade whose worked with many top stars, including another tragic case similar to Hoffman, the late Amy Winehouse. Vineberg, a saxophone player, has also played alongside the likes of Wyclef Jean, Mick Jagger, Tom Jones and David Bowie, according to online reports.

No Fentanyl Discovered

As medical examiners' official continue working on the actor's autopsy, authorities Tuesday said that testing on the heroin recovered from Hoffman's apartment revealed no traces of the substance fentanyl, quieting speculation the actor might have been felled by a tainted dose linked to more than 20 deaths on the East Coast. Police said, pending autopsy results, the death is suspected to be an overdose. While police in New York continue to search for those who might have sold the actor the heroin he overdosed on, past legal precedents in the state have dictated that drug dealers aren't liable for the death of their customer.

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Hoffman's family will have a private funeral service for the actor at St. Ignatius of Loyola Roman Catholic Church Friday, the NY Post reported, with a New York memorial slated for later this month. The paper reported that the actor will be cremated. Hoffman's family said through a rep Tuesday that they wish "to thank everyone for their continued support and good wishes," and requested that in lieu of flowers, mourners should sent donations to the DreamYard Project and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, two organizations the actor was partial to.

New York
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George Clooney: 'It’s Senseless And It’s Sad'

Perennial A-lister George Clooney hailed his late friend and colleague at Tuesday's premiere of his new film The Monuments Men at New York City's Ziegfeld Theater, not too far from the Greenwich Village apartment the actor's body was found Sunday. While introducing the film, the NY Post reported, Clooney said "the elephant in the room" for many in attendance was the cinema event was just "a couple of days after a good friend of ours has passed away. It’s senseless and it’s sad, but he will be greatly missed. Phil will be greatly missed. It’s hard to be here tonight with that weighing over us, but I wanted to say that.” On the red carpet, Clooney, who directed and co-starred with the actor in 2011's The Ides of March, called Hoffman's death "a pretty traumatic thing" and "senseless in a lot of ways."

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Stars Pay Tribute

An ensemble cast of celebrities trickled through the Jane Street home Hoffman lived at with his longtime girlfriend and mother of their three children, Mimi O’Donnell. Among those seen included director Paul Thomas Anderson, Joaquin Phoenix , Justin Theroux, Ethan Hawke, Gary Oldman, Ewan McGregor, and Eric Bogosian. Other prominent actors who were spotted there included Bobby Cannavale, David Zayas and Lola Glaudini. Hoffman's mother Marilyn O’Conner was also seen at the home.

Stay with for more on the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.



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