It's been three days since Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in a West Village apartment, reportedly surrounded by the detritus of his addiction: a needle, baggies full of heroin, other empty bags, prescription drugs. News stories have retraced his last days, speculated tastelessly on what his death means for the Hunger Games' final installment, and wondered whether the drugs that appear to have killed him were laced with fentanyl, a powerful painkiller that's recently made an unwelcome reappearance in the Northeast's heroin supply.
Photo by Nate "Igor" Smith
Yesterday, though, a test of the heroin in the actor's apartment found no trace of fentanyl. At the same time, four people, three men and one woman, were arrested in lower Manhattan on suspicion of having sold Hoffman the drugs that may have led to his death. The city's medical examiner is expected to release an official cause of death for him today.
It's important to do a few things here, quickly, while our minds are still collectively on addiction and the huge, brutal loss of losing someone so universally beloved to something so vile. The truth is, heroin addicts can stay safer, even when they're not ready to get clean. And as a city, we can help them.More »
It appears that carrying 20 bags of heroin into a city courthouse is not a firable offense in New York City. In a ruling released yesterday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez found that Damian Esteban, found with 20 bags of heroin when he reported for jury duty last October, must be allowed to keep his job at Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design, overturning the Department of Education's original firing.
Photo Credit: CGehlen via Compfight cc
Update: This post has been updated throughout.
NBC New York
A Long island driver allegedly high on drugs crashed into a bus carrying disabled children this morning. The driver's Jeep crossed over the yellow line at 1345 Connetquot Avenue in Central Islip just after 8 a.m., colliding with the bus and causing both vehicles to burst into flames. There were five aboard the bus--the driver, two wheelchair-bound children, and two matrons attending to them.More »
We're not saying that you deal drugs. And you really shouldn't. But in the event that you decide to dabble in the controlled substance arts, it seems important to keep several things in mind. Things like: deal only with people you know. Don't send incriminating mass text messages to your huge customer list, things like "Shop is now opened DOB, Blues, kpins, subs & white girl." Besides being poorly-punctuated, narcotics officers will quickly decode that one, inferring that you have for sale several different varieties of drugs: heroin that you've name-branded "D.O.B.," along with Oxycodone, Klonopin, Suboxone (a prescription drug people usually take to get off opioids) and cocaine.
Image via Google Maps The Sheepshead Bay apartment building there the ring was allegedly based.
In a report provided to NY1, mayoral candidate John Liu suggested that New York legalize weed, license dispensaries, and use the money to halve tuition at CUNY. We at Runnin' Scared think this is an inspired idea, and that Albany should get to work as soon as possible. This comes just two days after Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech condemning our national approach to drug offenses. Here's an interesting thought: Could it be that investing in education is a better way of addressing urban crime and poverty?
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Yesterday the Observer and NBC New York reported that 20-year-old Mina Gatas was arrested in Bay Ridge for using an ice cream truck as a front for his drug-dealing business in what police called "Operation Snowcone." Runnin' Scared thought the simplicity of Gatas's scheme was genius. It was so simple that we were surprised no one had thought of it before.
Flickr/Steven Depolo My favorite flavor is chocolate-meth swirl.
In fact, someone had thought of it before. Many someones. Turns out, New York has a deep history of drug-pushers leading double lives as ice cream men, in all boroughs and even on Long Island. Here are four of our favorites, culled from across the Internet.
Kristin Davis, the Manhattan Madam-turned-very dark horse Comptroller candidate, has been arrested on charges of selling prescription drugs. Davis was taken into custody today in Manhattan by the FBI. Among the drugs she is accused of peddling are oxycodone, Ambien, and amphetamine, the active ingredient in Adderall.
The tide of prescription drug abuse across the country might start to ebb now that law enforcement officials know what to look for. Yesterday the New York State Attorney General's office announced the sentencing of Bronx resident John "Nugget" Bland, 49, kingpin of an oxycodone drug ring that reached as far north as Poughkeepsie. A.G. Eric Schneiderman says that it's cases like these that underline the need for the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act, a drug overperscription-tracking technology and Schneiderman's pet legislation that was signed into law last year.
They're study drugs. Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse--you name it. The plague of prescription pills, with their often dangerous side effects, has been heavily reported by major media outlets but still continue to dominate finals week on college campuses across the country. And Senator Chuck Schumer wants to do something about it (in New York, at least).