Charge dropped against man arrested after Philip Seymour Hoffman death
Robert Aaron Vineberg, who was arrested in the wake of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death in February, no longer faces charges of intention to sell heroin, The New York Times reported. Vineberg, a 58-year-old musician, pleaded guilty to the lesser felony of simply possessing the drug. According to the Times, police found 296 glassine bags of heroin at Vineberg’s building, which police zeroed in on after a tipster connected it to Hoffman. Per the Associated Press, one arrested in the raid on the building did not face charges, and two others faced the misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession.
After Vineberg’s arrest, his lawyer told the AP that “this case and the charges against Mr. Vineberg have absolutely nothing to do with the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman … We’re hoping the [district attorney] will not use Mr. Vineberg as a scapegoat.” The case against Vineberg was dropped on “evidentiary issues that have come to light,” according to assistant district attorney John Veiga, the Times reported. The two police officers who initially questioned Vineberg after his arrest did not read him his Miranda rights, and therefore the court could not use Vineberg’s statements.
An autopsy revealed that Hoffman, who was found with a needle in his arm, died of a mix of drugs, which included heroin and cocaine.