The two men — including a former HBO producer — who were seen with New York doctor Kiersten Cerveny on the night she mysteriously died in October have been arrested on federal drug charges.
Cerveny was found in the lobby of an apartment building in Manhattan after a night out with friends on Oct. 4. The two men who were arrested, former HBO producer Marc Johnson and his "longtime friend" James Holder, were charged with attempted cocaine distribution and cocaine distribution, respectively, according to the criminal complaint, unsealed today.
An autopsy later showed that Cerveny died of a cocaine overdose, said NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.
Surveillance cameras showed Johnson, 51, entering into the building, in Chelsea, with Cerveny at 4:25 a.m. on Oct. 4, police said. The two knew each other through Facebook.
Hours later, Johnson and Holder allegedly dragged Cerveny's apparently unconscious body through the hallway and into the vestibule of the apartment building.
Johnson did not call 911 until 8:30 a.m., after Holder had left the building, the complaint said.
Johnson was charged with one count of attempted narcotics distribution of a controlled substance. He was also charged with narcotics conspiracy and accessory after the fact for helping move Cerveny's body out of an apartment in the building where narcotics were distributed.
"No one rendered aid and everyone was gone by the time 911 responded," Boyce said, calling the case "really troubling."
Investigators said that 60-year-old Holder, who went by the pseudonym "Pepsi," resided in and sold cocaine from the Chelsea apartment for more than a decade, according to the complaint. He also delivered cocaine to customers. He is charged with distribution of cocaine.
Johnson and Holder were "longtime friends," and Johnson regularly bought and used cocaine from Holder and also provided cocaine to others in social situations, the complaint said.
"We believe Mr. Holder has been selling drugs in this city for a long, long time," Boyce said.
The complaint went on to list several witness accounts describing the extent of cocaine distribution through Holder. He moved out of the apartment after Cerveny's death, but continued to sell cocaine in New York until January, the complaint said.
Johnson and Holder were arraigned in a Manhattan court today. It is unclear if they entered a plea or had obtained a lawyer.
Cerveny was a successful dermatologist and mother of three. She lived in Manhasset, Long Island with her children and husband, Andrew Cerveny, whom she met in 2004 at the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans. She graduated magna cum laude from Duke University and received her medical degree from Tulane University.
DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt released a statement regarding Cerveny's drug overdose:
“Drug overdoses take too many lives too soon and become a family’s worst nightmare. DEA is committed to dismantling drug trafficking organizations and those responsible for putting poison in the hands of users. By retracing alleged crimes, the DEA Strike Force has sent a message to dealers that the consequences of their actions affect them as well as the families of drug users. DEA commends our law enforcement partners who have worked diligently throughout this investigation.”