HBO Producer Among Two Men Facing Charges Stemming From Long Island Doctor's Mysterious Death
Detectives claim that Kiersten Cerveny and Marc Henry Johnson spent the evening of Oct. 3, 2015, in various New York City bars drinking and snorting cocaine
On Tuesday, two men – including the former producer for the forthcoming HBO drama series The Deuce – were arrested on drug charges related to the mysterious death of Kiersten Cerveny, a married Long Island doctor who died in the doorway of a Manhattan apartment building last October, PEOPLE confirms.
According to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice obtained by PEOPLE, HBO producer Marc Henry Johnson, 51, and James Holder, 60, both face federal drug and conspiracy charges related to Cerveny’s death.
Investigators claim Cerveny, a 38-year-old mother of three, was found unresponsive in Holder’s apartment building on the morning of Oct. 4, 2015. The night before her death, investigators allege Cerveny and Johnson spent the night in various New York City bars where they allegedly drank and snorted cocaine.
The Department of Justice’s statement alleges Holder sold cocaine out of his Chelsea apartment for more than a decade. In addition to being friends, Holder also allegedly sold cocaine to Johnson, who, along with actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, produced the pilot episode for the impending HBO series The Deuce, which stars James Franco and focuses on the rise of New York’s porn industry during the 1970s.
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The Morning of Cerveny’s Death
At around 4:30 a.m. the morning of Oct. 4, 2015, Cerveny and Johnson went to Holder’s home, where police claim the doctor overdosed, the statement claims.
Investigators say video surveillance footage shows Johnson and Holder dragging Cerveny’s unconscious body into the building’s first-floor vestibule.
Police say Holder then left the building, carrying an unspecified object as he walked away. Meanwhile, Johnson called 911 and asked for an ambulance. According to the DOJ’s statement, Johnson refused to provide his name to the 911 operator and would not describe the nature of his relationship with Cerveny.
Johnson and Holder both appeared in federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday for a preliminary hearing.
“Drugs destroy lives and communities,” the statement quotes U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara as saying. “The charges unsealed today against James Holder and Marc Henry Johnson are a reminder of that. And the work of the DEA, NYPD, and State Police in this investigation is also a reminder of law enforcement’s commitment to stem the distribution of dangerous drugs in our communities.”
Both men are being held on unspecified bail amounts. It was unclear Wednesday whether either defendant has retained an attorney who could comment on their behalf.