Earlier this month, police arrested three individuals whom they believe are connected to the drug overdose case of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Both the defendant and two co-defendants entered ‘not guilty’ pleas on Tuesday during their arraignment.
57-year-old Robert Vineberg remains in jail after the judge set his bail at a quarter of a million dollars. The Canadian-borne musician is accused of selling heroin to Hoffman. Vineberg was initially arraigned on three felony counts of heroin possession, although authorities say they may upgrade the charges at a later time.
Edward Kratt, Vineberg’s attorney, is seeking judicial diversion through the drug courts. If the judge approves the motion, Vineberg would be allowed to seek treatment for his drug addiction through a drug rehabilitation program. Depending on the outcome of the program, the charges against Vineberg could be dropped. Kratt admits that his client has been a heroin addict for a quite a while, and that rehabilitation is the best course of action for Vineberg. There’s no official word yet on whether or not the motion will be approved, but we can expect to hear a response within the next few weeks.
The two co-defendants in the case, Juliana Luchkiw and Max Rosenblum, plead not guilty to a single charge (each) of criminal possession of cocaine. Police immediately began an intense investigation following Hoffman’s death. It was an anonymous source, however, that tipped investigators off towards the direction of Kratt, Luchiw and Rosenblum. On February 4th, Manhattan police raided the apartment and discovered 350 bags of heroin matching the same bags found in Hoffman’s apartment. Vineberg’s cellphone was also confiscated for evidence, and it was later determined to have Hoffman’s number listed as a contact.
News of Hoffman’s overdose was felt not only in Hollywood, but throughout the entire world, as it brought the dangers of heroin addiction back into the limelight. Some people are under the assumption that heroin is a street drug that’s only found in back alleys, but this isn’t true. As Hoffman’s death revealed, heroin addiction is a serious problem that’s not biased towards any specific area or demographic. Heroin addiction is a real problem that’s sweeping across the nation, and the efforts made by law enforcement is doing little to control it.
According to intheknowzone.com, the number of “past-month” heroin users has tripled from 68,000 in 1993 to 208,000 in 1999. Last year, over 4,000 people died as a result of the drug. Hopefully, Hoffman’s passing will open the public’s eyes to the potential dangers of heroin addiction.