Two men were charged in federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday with attempted cocaine distribution, conspiracy and moving the body of an overdose victim to avoid apprehension in a case linked to the 2015 overdose death of Kiersten Cerveny, a prominent Manhasset dermatologist.
Marc Henry Johnson and James Holder, the two men charged, dragged the body of a 38-year-old woman who died of a drug overdose on Oct. 4, 2015, into the vestibule of an apartment building in Chelsea and left her there unresponsive, according to the criminal complaint.
Although Cerveny was not named, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce confirmed that the charges stemmed from an investigation of the death of Cerveny, 38, who was found unconscious and unresponsive on Oct. 4, 2015, in the lobby of a building on West 16th Street.
News reports at the time said Cerveny had been seen with Johnson, identified as a friend and an Emmy-nominated HBO producer.
The criminal complaint filed Wednesday did not accuse Johnson and Holder of causing the death of Cerveny, identified as “Individual 1.”
It said Holder was a drug dealer who sold cocaine from his apartment in the Chelsea building, and was a friend of Johnson. It said Holder had distributed more than five kilograms of cocaine from his apartment from 2003 till 2015.
The criminal complaint said Johnson sent text messages early in the evening to another individual indicating he was going to get cocaine from “Pepsi” — allegedly a nickname for Holder — and then later met up with Cerveny at a bar, where she had already “been using cocaine.”
It said video surveillance showed Johnson and “Individual 1” — Cerveny — arriving at Holder’s Chelsea building at 4:25 a.m. on Oct. 4, 2015, and then said that hours later Johnson and Holder “dragged (Cerveny’s) apparently unconscious body along a hallway to the first-floor vestibule of the Chelsea building.”
Holder left the building, the complaint said, and Johnson called 911 without giving his name or saying what had happened, and summoned an ambulance to the building, where Cerveny was found unresponsive.
Cerveny, according to Newsday reports last year, was later pronounced dead at Lenox Health Greenwich Village after being found unresponsive.
The criminal complaint said Cerveny’s death “was caused by, among other things, her use of cocaine.”
Johnson was charged with attempted distribution of narcotics in the criminal complaint and Holder was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Johnson was charged with being an accessory after the fact to the conspiracy by helping Holder “move a woman’s unresponsive body” to avoid apprehension.