Robert Vineberg, the alleged drug dealer busted for possession in an investigation of Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s overdose death, claimed in court Friday that heroin packets found in his apartment were for personal use as a judge set his bail at $200,000 bond or $40,000 in cash.
Vineberg remained in custody as of Friday afternoon but is free to go if he posts the amount, a court clerk told TheWrap. His next court appearance was scheduled for Tuesday.
Police said they found more than 350 packets of heroin in the NoHo apartment of the 57-year-old in the sweep just days after Hoffman’s death. Vineberg is charged with intent to sell heroin and felony possession; he’s been held without bail since his Feb 4 arrest.
The charges have not been connected to Hoffman’s death; however, the actor’s cell number was found on three people’s phones in the sweep, which came after a known heroin user who told cops he’d seen Hoffman buying drugs at the building. A young couple busted with cocaine in a different apartment posted bail on possession charges.
Vineberg, a struggling session sax player who’s recorded with Amy Winehouse, has admitted that he knew Hoffman, but told the New York Post that he didn’t kill the actor – and could have saved him.
His attorney argued in court Friday that his client had a heroin habit and was working to get clean, according to the Associated Press. He also suggested that Vineburg had no scales or “branding” stamps to indicate that he had been dealing heroin.
Hoffman was reportedly found dead in his Manhattan apartment with needles and dozens of packets of heroin. An initial autopsy was inconclusive, however, and more tests were still being done.