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Prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck charged with running drug den where two men fatally overdosed

Democratic donor arrested on meth charges

Los Angeles — A West Hollywood man who has made large donations to the Democratic Party was charged Tuesday with running a drug house out of his apartment, where two men died of overdoses. Ed Buck was also charged with providing methamphetamine to a 37-year-old man who suffered an overdose last week, CBS Los Angeles reports.

The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office said Buck, 65, was charged with one felony count each of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house.

He was scheduled for arraignment Wednesday.

According to the D.A.'s office, Buck was accused of injecting the victim with methamphetamine at Buck's apartment. The man survived.

Buck, who was arrested at his home Tuesday, should be held on $4 million bail because he is a "violent, dangerous sexual predator" who "mainly preys on men made vulnerable by addiction and homelessness," prosecutors said in a motion.

Buck took advantage of his position of power and offered drugs, money and shelter to mainly addicted and homeless men in exchange for participating in sexual fetishes, including a fetish that involved administering dangerous doses of drugs, the motion said.

Buck "has no regard for human life," the motion added.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement that he remains "deeply concerned for the safety of people whose life circumstances may make them more vulnerable to criminal predators," CBS L.A. notes.  "With this new evidence, I authorized the filing of criminal charges against Ed Buck."

Buck's attorney told CBS L.A. he would fight the charges against his client "vigorously."

Buck, 65, has donated tens of thousands of dollars to California candidates, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, and is well known in LGBTQ political circles.

Buck came under investigation in January after 55-year-old Timothy Dean was found dead of an accidental methamphetamine overdose in his apartment. It was the second such death in two years, following the July 2017 death of Gemmel Moore, 26.

Both men were black. Buck, who is white, was not charged and critics later questioned if wealth, race or political ties influenced the investigations.

They are continuing, county district attorney's spokesman Greg Risling said.

A lawyer who said he talked with family members of Moore and Dean told CBS L.A. the family members were relieved and grateful that Buck was behind bars.

"It's unfortunate that it's taken a third overdose for the (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department) to finally act," Hussain Turk, the attorney for Moore's family said. "We believe that the third overdose could have been avoided. We believe that the death of Timothy Dean could have also been avoided had they taken the death of Gemmel Moore seriously."

Buck's attorney had said Dean came to Buck's home under the influence and didn't ingest any drugs while there.

In their bail motion, however, prosecutors specifically blamed Buck's actions for the two deaths and they alleged he personally gave a dangerous dose of methamphetamine to a man who survived an overdose earlier this month.

On Sept. 11, the man returned and Buck injected him with two more dangerous doses, refused to help him and "thwarted" his efforts to get help until the man fled the apartment and called 911 from a gas station, prosecutors alleged.

"His deadly behavior has not stopped," prosecutors contended.

Buck's "predatory acts and willful disregard for human life must be stopped before another life is lost," their motion read.

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