NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A jazz musician arrested in the wake of the heroin-overdose death of Philip Seymour Hoffman has accepted a plea deal that will keep him out of prison.
Robert Vineberg pleaded guilty in Manhattan Supreme Court on Thursday to a low-level heroin possession charge, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported. He was initially facing the heavier charge of possession of heroin with intent to sell.
Under the plea deal, Vineberg will be sentenced to five years’ probation, 25 days of community service and a requirement that he enter a drug treatment program.
Vineberg, 57, was one of three alleged heroin addicts arrested in Chinatown in the days after Hoffman’s death. Vineberg had been fingered by an informant who told cops that the Oscar-winning actor had been seen at his Mott Street apartment.
Police who searched the apartment found 300 bags of heroin. Vineberg insisted he and Hoffman were friends and the drugs were all for his own personal use.
Prosecutors were unable to prove that Vineberg sold the “Capote” star the drugs that killed him.
Vineberg flashed a victory sign to a photographer as he left the courthouse.
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