Judge: Hoffman’s ‘heroin dealer’ inconsistent about addiction

vineberg-addictA Manhattan judge blasted Philip Seymour Hoffman’s suspected drug dealer for claiming he had a raging heroin addiction in court Friday just days after he told the Post he was nearly sober in an exclusive jailhouse interview.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Edward McLaughlin held up the New York Post’s story featuring an interview with alleged heroin pusher Robert Vineberg at his bail hearing today.

“He claims he is clean, you claim he is in the throes of a decade or more long addiction,” said McLaughlin addressing defense lawyer Ed Kratt. “Some of the statements made on Mr. Vineberg’s behalf are inconsistent.”

McLaughlin challenged the defense’s contention that the nearly 300 glassines of heroin seized at the jazz musician’s Mott Street apartment days after the beloved “Capote” actor’s overdose were for personal use.

“The amount he had is off the charts,” he said of the drugs – with a street value of approximately $3,000 – recovered during the February 4 raid.

McLaughlin set bail at $200,000 bond over $40,000 cash, which is expected to be posted by bail bondsman Ira Judelson.

Vineberg, 57, told the Post he had been sober when he last had contact with Hoffman in late December. Although Vineberg admitted he had also relapsed, he painted Hoffman as a much heavier drug user.

“He was using needles. He was a hard-core addict,” said Vineberg of the beloved actor, discovered dead in the bathroom of his posh Greenwich Village apartment with a needle sticking out of his arm.

Cops believe that the jazz musician – who recorded with Amy Winehouse — may have sold heroin to the Oscar winner.

He denied selling the 73 bags of heroin found in Hoffman’s $10,000 a month pad. But he refused to comment on whether he’d ever sold the 46-year-old star drugs.

There is no evidence tying the fatal batch to Vineberg.

Cops raided Vineberg’s two apartments at 302 Mott Street after a confidential informant claimed he saw Hoffman score there, according to law enforcement sources.

Vineberg, who once toured with Wyclef Jean, told the Post he and Hoffman had been friends for about a year.

He last saw the actor when he stopped by his apartment high last October, he said.
“I could’ve saved him,” Vineberg told the Post from Riker’s Island last Saturday. “If I was with him, it wouldn’t have happened. Not under my guard.”

About 20 friends showed up in court to show their support for the struggling musician who they described as “generous” and “talented.”

“It’s a shock to everyone,” said saxophonist Duke Guillaume who has known Vineberg more than 20 years. “It’s not the Robert we know.”

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