Monday, February 3, 2014

Exclusive: NYPD hunting for Hoffman’s heroin dealer after 70 bags found

The NYPD on Monday launched an intensive citywide search to identify the drug dealer who sold heroin to troubled Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died of an overdose Sunday in his Greenwich Village pad — where cops found nearly 70 bags of the drug.

“An internal email went out to all supervisors asking if anyone has had any experience with those brand names of drugs,” a law enforcement source told The Post. “They’re going to try to find the source.”

Timothy Bugge, the new commanding officer of Manhattan South Narcotics emailed the alert to supervisors asking if they had dealt with heroin labeled “Ace of Spades,” or “Ace of Hearts.”

Cops found nearly 70 glassine envelopes of heroin with those markings in Hoffman’s $10,000-a-month Bethune Street apartment.

The law enforcement source said that a process called “a nitro dump” could be key to cracking the case.

“Basically what that is, is any time we make a narcotics arrest we include the brand name on the arrest report and store it in our system so our investigators can see where those brands are being sold,” the source explained.

Once they determine a location, they can zero in on the dealer or dealers selling that particular brand.

Hoffman was found dead with a hypodermic needle stuck in his arm.

Authorities have warned that heroin addiction is soaring and noted an uptick in the availability of the drug.

Last week, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced a heroin mill bust in the Bronx after the agency seized $8 million worth of the drug.

The DEA has warned that people who are addicted to opioid prescription pills are now finding highly pure heroin easier and cheaper to obtain, according to CNN.

It produces a similar, if more dangerous, high because unlike with the pills, there is no way to regulate the dosage of heroin, given the undetermined purity.

Authorities are also concerned about a supply of heroin that is laced with  fentanyl – an opiate given to cancer patients to soothe their pain.

The supply has been linked  to more than 100 deaths in America – with more three dozen deaths in Maryland since September.

Meanwhile, there have been almost 20 related deaths in Pennsylvania in the last month alone, and another  22 people dying of heroin-fentanyl overdoses in Rhode Island last month.

Fentanyl can be 10 to 100 times stronger than morphine, according to CNN.

It was not clear if the heroin Hoffman used contained the dangerous opiate.

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