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3 arrested after Philip Seymour Hoffman death plead not guilty to drug charges

By Haimy Assefa and Leigh Remizowski, CNN
updated 6:07 PM EST, Tue February 18, 2014
Robert Vineberg, 57, pleaded not guilty to three counts of criminal possession of heroin.
Robert Vineberg, 57, pleaded not guilty to three counts of criminal possession of heroin.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead of an apparent drug overdose
  • NYC police launched investigations to determine the source of Hoffman's heroin
  • Three people were arrested and charged with drug possession
  • The three pleaded not guilty Tuesday at their arraignment

New York (CNN) -- A man arrested in police probes following the apparent drug overdose death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to drug charges, and two co-defendants in the case had not-guilty pleas entered for them at their arraignment.

Robert Vineberg, 57, who remains in jail after his bail was set Friday at nearly a quarter of a million dollars total, was arraigned on three counts of criminal possession of heroin. He pleaded not guilty to all charges, according to his attorney Edward Kratt.

Kratt filed a motion seeking judicial diversion through the drug diversion court, which is a part of the New York State Supreme Court. If the motion is accepted by the judge, Vineberg will be evaluated for drug treatment. This means the charges against Vineberg's could eventually be dropped if the motion goes through and Vineberg is successful in treatment, Kratt told CNN.

Vineberg has been a heroin addict for "quite a while," said his attorney.

They expect a decision regarding the motion on March 10.

Four people believed to be connected to the drugs found in Philip Seymour Hoffman\'s apartment were arrested late Tuesday night - but only three were charged Wednesday, February 5, 2014. Juliana Luchkiw, 22 & Max Rosenblum, 22, were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, misdemeanors.
Four people believed to be connected to the drugs found in Philip Seymour Hoffman's apartment were arrested late Tuesday night - but only three were charged Wednesday, February 5, 2014. Juliana Luchkiw, 22 & Max Rosenblum, 22, were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, misdemeanors.

The judge entered a not-guilty plea for Juliana Luchkiw and Max Rosenblum, both 22, who appeared in court Monday charged with one count of criminal possession of cocaine, according to Rosenblum's attorney, Daniel Hochheiser.

The three were arrested earlier this month as police investigated drugs found in Philip Seymour Hoffman's apartment. The Academy Award-winning actor was found dead February 2 of an apparent drug overdose. Investigators found close to 50 packets of what they believe to be heroin in the actor's apartment.

Police immediately set out to track down Hoffman's source for heroin. Vineberg, Luchkiw, and Rosenblum were arrested on February 4 after police raided a Manhattan apartment, recovering 350 small plastic bags of what is believed to be heroin with labels that match those found at Hoffman's residence, according to officials.

Vineberg had Hoffman's phone number stored in his phone, according to law enforcement.

Vineberg hopes to make bail this week, which is set at $40,000 cash and $200,000 bond, according to his attorney.

The heroin epidemic, and the antidote for overdose

CNN's Dominique Dodley contributed to this report.

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