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Debbie Harry speaks up for arrested musician

Debbie Harry speaks up for arrested musician © AP / Debbie Harry of Blondie Debbie Harry speaks up for arrested musician

NEW YORK (AP) — A jazz musician arrested on drug charges amid an investigation into Philip Seymour Hoffman's death is getting support from Blondie singer Deborah Harry.

She and bandmate Chris Stein praise sideman Robert Vineberg in a letter filed with court papers Tuesday as "an asset to New York's culture."

Vineberg was arrested as police followed leads after Hoffman's Feb. 2 death from a mix of heroin, cocaine and other drugs. Vineberg has pleaded not guilty to possessing heroin with the intent to sell. He wasn't charged with selling it or playing any role in Hoffman's death.

According to a police report, Vineberg said he was friendly with Hoffman and had occasionally sold him heroin but hadn't seen him since October.

Hoffman's publicist didn't immediately respond to an email.

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