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4 arrested in Hoffman death probe

Feb. 5: Four persons were arrested in Lower Manhattan last evening with more than 350 bags of heroin as part of the investigation into the death of the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, a law enforcement official said.

Narcotics investigators executed search warrants in three apartments in a building at 302 Mott Street last evening, the official said. Three men and a woman were arrested, and the investigators recovered the bags of heroin inside the apartments.

Information stemming from the investigation into Hoffman’s death led them to the building, the official said. Hoffman, widely considered one of the best actors of his generation, died on Sunday in an apparent heroin overdose.

He was found dead with a needle in his arm in a West Village apartment, about a kilometre from where the arrests took place. Near Hoffman’s body, the police found dozens of packages of heroin, some branded with the label “Ace of Spades”.

The bags that were found during the arrests yesterday did not have those types of labels, the official said. The investigation was continuing, police officials said.

Earlier yesterday, police officials said that the heroin found in Hoffman’s apartment did not contain fentanyl, a powerful additive that has been tied to 22 recent fatal overdoses in Pennsylvania. The city examiner had not yet reached a definitive cause of death for the actor.

Preliminary tests of the heroin found “no traces of fentanyl”, said Stephen Davis, the department’s top spokesman, adding that investigators had taken a representative sample of the substances found in the apartment in reaching that conclusion.

As the investigation into the actor’s death continued, Hoffman’s family released a statement outlining plans for a private funeral service for “the family and close friends”.

The statement said “plans were also underway for a memorial service later in the month also to be held in New York”, though no details were provided.

 
 
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