California Democratic donor charged with running drug house
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A West Hollywood man who made prominent donations to the Democratic Party was charged Tuesday with running a drug house where two men died of overdoses.
Edward Buck, who was arrested at his home Tuesday, should be held on $4 million bail because he is a “violent, dangerous sexual predator” who 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, Los Angeles County prosecutors said in a motion.
Buck “has no regard for human life,” the motion said.
In addition to operating a drug house, Buck is charged with furnishing methamphetamine and with battery causing serious bodily injury. He was scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday.
Messages to his attorney, Seymour Amster, were not immediately returned.
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 investigation.
The investigation into those deaths continues, county district attorney’s spokesman Greg Risling said.
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.