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Official: Heroin in packets in Hoffman's apartment

NEW YORK (AP) - Tests have confirmed there was heroin in at least some of the scores of plastic packets in the New York City apartment where Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead, a law enforcement official said Monday, and authorities are working to determine whether the drug was mixed or tainted with anything else.

Medical examiners have not yet made an official determination of the cause of the 46-year-old actor's death, but police have been investigating it as a suspected overdose. Hoffman was found in a bathroom with a syringe in his arm, law enforcement officials have said.

A few details have begun to sketch a picture of his final day and the circumstances in which he was found in his apartment in Manhattan's Greenwich Village on Sunday. And questions have swirled about whether Hoffman's death could be linked to a potent blend of heroin and synthetic morphine that has been tied to deaths elsewhere, though as yet there are no official findings pointing to that scenario.

"The direction of the investigation is going to depend, in large part, on the findings of the medical examiner and the findings of the lab tests," chief police spokesman Stephen Davis said.

An autopsy began Monday, but results weren't expected until at least Tuesday, the city medical examiners' office said.

A friend had spoken to him by phone around 9 p.m. Saturday, in the last contact investigators are aware of anyone having with him, a law enforcement official said. The official said the actor's door was double-locked when his body was found around 11:30 a.m. the next day by the same friend and Hoffman's assistant.

In the apartment were at least four dozen small packets variously stamped with the ace of hearts and others with the ace of spades, two law enforcement officials said Monday. Tests of samples showed heroin in each type, one of the officials said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk about the evidence gathered.

Authorities also found unused syringes, a charred spoon and various prescription medications, including a blood-pressure drug and a muscle relaxant, one of the officials said.

Stamps are common as a form of drug-world branding, and authorities make note of the ones they encounter, though they're hardly trademarks - different producers might use the same symbol. It wasn't immediately clear whether the ace of hearts and ace of spades stamps could lead investigators to any clues about the source of the items found in Hoffman's apartment.

Concern has risen around the region in recent months about fentanyl, a synthetic morphine substitute roughly 100 times more powerful than morphine, being mixed with or substituted for heroin. In western Pennsylvania, 22 people died within a week last month from suspected overdoses of heroin and fentanyl, Attorney General Kathleen Kane said last week; at least a half-dozen suspected dealers have been charged there.

On New York's Long Island, the Nassau County medical examiner's office said Friday it was investigating several deaths initially assumed to be heroin overdoses but later found to have involved fentanyl being sold in packets stamped "24K."

In New York City, a fentanyl-heroin blend cropped up recently in a case against a man charged last month with running a sizeable heroin and cocaine ring. In one of various alleged deals, he sold a 200-gram package of powder that later tested positive for both heroin and fentanyl, a prosecutor's office spokeswoman said Monday.

___

Associated Press writer Tom Hays contributed to this report.

50 Heroin Bags Found In Hoffman's Home

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accsport February 05 2014 at 2:53 AM

This guy was the engineer of his own demise . He controlled a set of circumstances that at any time he could have changed and "he" chose not to. This is not a disease like catching the Flu, this is a lifestyle choice he made. All the complaints about the dealers are simply refusing to blame the person responsible. If people stopped using illegal drugs there would be no market, no dealers, no drug wars, and no needless deaths. But people continue to violate all the rules and then when their world caves in order to not be accountable the blame is diverted.

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ellen0115 February 04 2014 at 6:53 PM

Lets get something straight Hoffman didn't abandon his children for heroin. The person who said that is a Jerk and his children don't need to read that one day. P. Hoffman was amazing but he was an addict. When you have an addiction its a disease. I am sure if he could go back in time he would. He loved his family that was OBVIOUS! People who have addictions or should I say 95% of people that have addiction problems cant beat addiction on their own. More people need to be educated on this subject. Its so easy for people to sit in judgement! A person has to turn their will over to their higher power whatever or whom ever that may be. They need to surrender they need to stop using drugs and get a sponsor. Join a program and first go into Rehab. However thanks to our wonderful government NOT all people can afford to go into treatment. P.S.Hoffman of course could have and did try treatment but left early. Treatment does work for many people. People have to want to STOP using if they don't want to stop they wont. I know people who have relapsed 17-25 times and it took that 25th time for it too sink in and then I have known people that have died from the DISEASE of addiction. - This is an epidemic in our country, but we don't have a 3 day walk to raise money for people so they can get treatment in a facility. We have fundraisers for everything else. Advertisements all over the TV for these other diseases but not for the Disease of addiction because most people think its a "dirty" disease or only losers do drugs or then there are those people (families) that are in just total denial! DENIAL KILLS, ! Kids are trying drugs younger and younger and the girls are prostituting at young ages to get money to get these drugs. Stealing ending up missing because they are put to work by their pimp in a sex slave organization and then sold to someone who takes them to another country. This happens every day. Not to mention the stuff they are mixing the drugs they sell to people these days. Gasoline, Formaldehyde the list goes on and more dangerous. If you know someone who is suffering from addiction try to get them some help. If you see track marks on arms, spoons around, foil around, needles, that's prob heroin. You can get hooked on heroin after just one use! Heroin doesn't have a smell. Remember Coke, Ecstasy, Meth I could keep going are just as bad. Another name for one of the drugs is Molly I don't know if that's Heroin or not But people we need to do something about THIS EPIDEMIC!

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2 replies to ellen0115's comment
Ty February 04 2014 at 9:22 PM

I agree with much of what you posted. Once you're an addict, it's a horrible disease, and can destroy your life and take others with you.
However, there is a way to stop this epidemic. DON'T DO DRUGS! EVER! NOT EVEN ONCE!
Problem will disappear...

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ellen0115 February 06 2014 at 7:22 PM

I agree with you, dont do drugs ever, EASY FOR PPL TO SAY.

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accsport February 05 2014 at 2:57 AM

Disease? That is to say you can get into this like catching the Flu? Until people are accountable for their own actions it will never stop. Until you stop blaming everybody but those people who consume the product the market will never change. You can help someone to help themselves but you can not do it for them as proven by all the laws making this illegal to start with. As long as people want to violate the rules they are responsible.

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ellen0115 February 06 2014 at 7:27 PM

Disease.... the flu is not a disease, mental illness is a disease Do your research addiction is a disease! ITS not an excuse talk to some one at the mayo clinic or your local hospital addiction is a disease**** The flu, more scientifically known as influenza, is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses. The influenza virus usually enters the body through mucus membranes in the mouth, nose, or eyes.

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ellen0115 February 06 2014 at 7:42 PM

Goes to show how ignorant some people are to addiction and illnesses. Your right you cant carry the addict they have to want to get help, but the programs are either too short, ppl don't have insurance, their money runs out and our gov doesn't care! We need to get the dealers off the street for good! (impossible) if ppl see dealing going on they need to report it! (they are too afraid) and thats not including the doctors the put ppl on so many meds they are addicted when they leave. The system here is much better with that. BUT YES ADDICTION IS A DISEASE!

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Pam February 04 2014 at 5:05 PM

He was a human being who made a horrible mistake. He set the process in motion and activated the disease of addiction. Addiction has a hereditary component and once started it takes over. People don't use heroin to "party" or "have fun" they use it to sleep and forget. It totally knocks them out. He was in pain of some sort and now he is dead. Please let him rest in peace.

For all you who are so full of hate, I can see you haven't known anyone who has had a battle or lost their lives to addiction...I hope you never do.

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ellen0115 February 06 2014 at 7:31 PM

AMEN PAM! I am sorry if you have lost I am however proud of you for making this post and standing up for people with the DISEASE of addiction. There are so many reasons ppl use drugs. SOme ppl try heroin ONCE and they are addicted! Its to for people to get serious about the WAR we have here on our homeland THE WAR ON DRUGS!

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MaryLou February 04 2014 at 4:54 PM

where was his family

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1 reply to MaryLou's comment
ellen0115 February 06 2014 at 7:33 PM

addicts tend to shut people out. You cant blame anyone for this not even Mr. Hoffman, If you want to place blame, blame the dealers the ones who are selling the drugs and lacing the drugs with god knows what!

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bewise817 February 04 2014 at 3:57 PM

Why would broadway honor a drug addict bent on killing himself. He is no role model or hero. He was a junky like anyother you find on the street. Why do we feel we have honor all these celebrity junkies. They were a waste of life.

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donaldhugh66 February 04 2014 at 2:34 PM

so sad as I'm an ex-addict myself. I'm one of the lucky ones that I quit and didn't die but overdosed in the past years ago, so god bless Hoffman and I feel sorry for him and his family as he brought many laughs to many people and will be missed.

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bell February 04 2014 at 2:26 PM

Dumb ass. His family derserved a better dad.

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Sherry February 04 2014 at 1:56 PM

So, so sad. He was a great actor and very well like person. If only we could clean the the streets from all these drugs our adults and childred have become so depended on them. The pusher and suppliers , when caught, should be life without patrol because God knows they have taken many, many lives.

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accsport February 05 2014 at 2:46 AM

You want to stop this get rid of the users. You are blaming everybody but the person who is responsible.

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Sherry February 04 2014 at 1:52 PM

a

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therealkatsmell February 04 2014 at 1:50 PM

50 baggies....shooting some horse...rot your heart...rot your liver..cucarotcha

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