Hoffman's death shines light on New York's heroin problem - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Hoffman's death shines light on New York's heroin problem

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

In the wake of the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, police are looking for a drug dealer who sells a brand of heroin called Ace of Spades, my law enforcement sources told me. They said it was stamped on some of the drug envelopes allegedly found in the Oscar winner's apartment.

Hoffman appeared to have it all: fame, friends and a family who loved him. It all came to a tragic end on Sunday, when he was found dead in his $10,000-a-month West Village apartment, with a needle stuck in his arm. It came as a shock to many, even though he reportedly battled addiction, and as recently as last spring did a brief stint in rehab.

Heroin use is more than a habit, Dr. Harris Stratyner said. Scoring the drug becomes a ritual.

Police sources say tiny glassine envelopes containing individual doses of heroin, selling for $6 to $10 a hit, were found in his apartment. Some bore the name Ace of Spades, a brand not seen by Brooklyn heroin users since 2009 and by the DEA since 2008.

DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt told me branding is key to a dealer's illicit business plan. He said the city is flooded with heroin, as evidenced by a bust they made last week: $8 million worth of heroin seized from a New Jack City-style drug mill inside a Bronx apartment. DEA agents seized decks, or 10 packs of heroin, and the stamps with the brand names, even one for the NFL.

The city Health Department told me heroin-related deaths have skyrocketed 84 percent from 2010 to 2012.

I spoke with a recovering heroin addict who told me he did not want to glorify the drug but wants to warn others how easy it is to get hooked.

Doctors for the city's Medical Examiner are investigating Hoffman's death and should have definitive toxicology results by the end of the week.


  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • Almost all NYC pre-K centers ready

    Almost all NYC pre-K centers ready

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:48 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:48:37 GMT
    Nearly all 1,100 facilities providing services in the city's new universal pre-kindergarten program are ready to open on time after passing health and safety inspections. City officials said Friday they expect the eight remaining pre-K schools to remedy violations by Sept. 4's opening day. If they don't, affected children will be temporarily enrolled in other facilities.
    Nearly all 1,100 facilities providing services in the city's new universal pre-kindergarten program are ready to open on time after passing health and safety inspections. City officials said Friday they expect the eight remaining pre-K schools to remedy violations by Sept. 4's opening day. If they don't, affected children will be temporarily enrolled in other facilities.
  • Mark David Chapman

    John Lennon's killer denied parole again

    John Lennon's killer denied parole again

    Friday, August 22 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-08-22 20:10:09 GMT
    John Lennon's killer was denied release from prison in his eighth appearance before a parole board, New York corrections officials said Friday. The decision on Mark David Chapman by a three-member board came after a hearing Wednesday, the state Department of Corrections said. Chapman fired five shots on Dec. 8, 1980, outside the Dakota apartment house where Lennon lived on Manhattan's Upper West Side, hitting the ex-Beatle four times.
    John Lennon's killer was denied release from prison in his eighth appearance before a parole board, New York corrections officials said Friday. The decision on Mark David Chapman by a three-member board came after a hearing Wednesday, the state Department of Corrections said. Chapman fired five shots on Dec. 8, 1980, outside the Dakota apartment house where Lennon lived on Manhattan's Upper West Side, hitting the ex-Beatle four times.
  • Official: NYPD body cameras are 'win-win'

    Official: NYPD body cameras are 'win-win'

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:02 PM EDT2014-08-22 01:02:35 GMT
    Public Advocate Letitia James says a 3-ounce camera, if used correctly, could be a key tool in improving community and police relations. She showed off one of the cameras she believes NYPD patrol officers need to be wearing. She said that the cameras would be a "win-win" for the public, transparency, police accountability improving police community relations, reducing civil liability.
    Public Advocate Letitia James says a 3-ounce camera, if used correctly, could be a key tool in improving community and police relations. She showed off one of the cameras she believes NYPD patrol officers need to be wearing. She said that the cameras would be a "win-win" for the public, transparency, police accountability improving police community relations, reducing civil liability.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices