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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman: Arrests Made Over Heroin, NYPD Say

NYPD have arrested four people as part of a drug supply investigation in the wake of the death of the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.

US news sources including CBS said the arrests were made on Tuesday night in a building on Mott Street in the New York district known as NoHo – north of Houston street. All four unnamed suspects were charged with possession of narcotics.

Police searched three apartments and found 350 bags of heroin in all, reports said. They arrested three men and a woman who were questioned over the sale of heroin, CBS cited sources as saying.

An NYPD spokesman confirmed to Reuters that officers found narcotics and four people were arrested. He declined to confirm that the arrests were related to Hoffman's death.

Authorities earlier said heroin recovered at the Oscar-winning actor's apartment had tested negative for the powerful additive fentanyl.

Samples taken from Hoffman's Manhattan apartment did not contain the potent synthetic morphine, which is added to intensify the high and has been linked to suspected overdose deaths, said a police official, who was not authorised to talk about the evidence and insisted on anonymity.

The Capote star made six ATM transactions for a total of $1,200 inside a supermarket near his home the day before his death, law enforcement officials said. The 46-year-old actor was found dead in the bathroom of his apartment Sunday.

Investigators have been piecing together the final hours before Hoffman's death, using video surveillance to determine his whereabouts. Besides the bank records, the law enforcement officials said, investigators had discovered buprenorphine, a drug used to treat heroin addiction, at Hoffman's apartment and were examining a computer and two iPads found at the scene for clues.

Results of an autopsy are expected to be released on Wednesday. Police have said the medical examiner's ruling will determine whether there is any criminality but they suspect it was an overdose.

The New York police department's intensive effort to determine the source of the drugs in an apparent accidental overdose is unusual. Courts have found in past rulings that under state law drug dealers can't be held liable for a customer's death.

More than 50 small plastic envelopes of heroin were recovered in Hoffman's apartment, along with syringes, a charred spoon and various prescription medications, including a blood pressure drug and a muscle relaxant, law enforcement officials have said.

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