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Heroin Dealers to Philip Seymour Hoffman Arrested on Possession; Heroin Suppliers in Texas Already Face Life Imprisonment in Heroin Overdose Death Arrests

The heroin sold in New York City last week to famed actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, which is presumed to be the cause of his death on Sunday, has now been tracked to the dealers allegedly responsible for selling the heroin to Hoffman that was found in his system, as well as in the syringe still embedded in his arm when his body was discovered by a friend.

Reports are that around 50 glassines (tiny plastic bags) stamped with either ‘Ace of Spades’ and ‘Ace of Hearts’ were found in Hoffman’s apartment by the police.

Heroin is a product marketed like any other these days: these two “Ace” brands are known to contain a mix of heroin and fentanyl. Fentanyl is a powerful drug in its own right, it’s a painkiller prescribed to cancer patients. The combination of heroin and fetanyl can be a toxic one, and people have been dying all over the East Coast from using a heroin – fetanyl mix (which also goes by product names like “Bud Ice” and “Theraflu”).


black tar heroin, heroin

In Texas, black tar heroin (shown above) is more common in the marketplace than the white powder heroin discovered in Hoffman’s apartment.



Arrests Made of Four People Alleged to be Drug Dealers for Philip Seymour Hoffman

News today is that four people have been arrested for dealing the fatal heroin supply to Philip Seymour Hoffman as New York City Police have officially announced the arrests of Robert Vineberg and Thomas Kushman, who have been charged with felony drug possession with Max Rosenblum and Juliana Luchkiw, charged with misdemeanor possession.

So far, these four face drug charges but no direct arrests have been made for the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. These four are not facing New York State Penal Code charges for manslaughter, homicide, or murder.

Heroin Very Popular Today, Media Discussion Turns to Arrest of Dealers for Murder

International news coverage of Hoffman’s death are including discussions of the growing popularity of heroin in the United States and worldwide as well as debates regarding whether or not drug dealers who provide the heroin that kills the user should be held criminally liable for their death, charged with some form of homicide or manslaughter.

These aren’t new issues for Texans, however. We’ve been dealing with the popularity of heroin at all socioeconomic levels here in the Dallas- Fort Worth metroplex as well as all around the state for years now. (Read our post from last summer for details, “Heroin Use Among Teens And Young Adults: Dallas, Fort Worth Suburbs Will See More Heroin Arrests As Popularity Of Heroin Continues To Rise.”)

Texas Heroin Is Very Popular and in Texas, Heroin Suppliers In Heroin Overdose Deaths Are Charged With Crimes That Bring Life Imprisonment

And in Texas, law enforcement has already made the decision to arrest and charge dealers for the deaths resulting from the heroin products they have sold to the user. What the media is discussing as a new approach in charging drug dealers is already well underway in the State of Texas.

1. Heroin Is A Very Popular Drug Here In Texas

In Texas, heroin is cheap and easy to find if you’re seriously interested in purchasing some. College students and suburban housewives are using heroin in Texas every day. For heroin dealers and those in the heroin business, there’s a great demand for their product and supply is readily available in our area, especially with Texas Black Tar Heroin being transported from Mexico and Cheese Heroin ( a mix of heroin and Tylenol, Benadryl, or other OTC pain pill) being so popular.

2. In Texas, Law Enforcement Already Charging Dealers With Life Imprisonment Drug Charges For Heroin Overdose Deaths

Here in Texas, police are already arresting heroin dealers for deaths to users who have died from heroin overdoses. For example, in February 2013 Dallas Police arrested Dominic Stephan Thomas for the death of Brian Boland after Thomas admitted during police interrogation that he supplied Boland with the heroin syringe that resulted in Boland’s overdose and death.

Thomas was charged under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, Texas Health & Safety Code Section 481.112 (Manufacture Or Delivery Of Substance In Penalty Group 1), which brings with it a possible sentence of life imprisonment.

Another example, last month Misrael Perla entered a guilty plea in federal court regarding the death of Alexandra Julia Moreno of Irving, Texas. Perla had met Moreno at a club a few days before she died and had taken her back home to stay with him at his mother’s house. A few days later, Perla discovered Moreno unconscious there at the house, so he put her body In the back of his pickup truck and took her to the Baylor Medical Center where he left her at the Emergency Room and didn’t wait to see what happened.

The next month, another woman, Cassidy Seward, of Grapevine, died from ingesting a combination of heroin and methamphetamine determined to have been supplied to her by Perla.

Perla was tracked down and arrested as Moreno’s and Seward’s heroin supplier, and this week he’s pled guilty on federal charges on two counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, which brings a possible life sentence.

Bottom line, in Texas there is already a potential life sentence in place for anyone arrested for supplying, dealing, or distrbuting heroin to someone who dies from using that heroin supplied, dealt, or given to him or her.  Criminal defense lawyers in Texas may end up fighting against charges of homicide, felony murder, or manslaughter in these cases but Texas has some very strict drug laws already and it is very possible for a heroin death to end up with the heroin supplier facing a life imprisonment sentencing possibility even if there is no murder or manslaughter charge. 

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