LOS ANGELES — The prominent Democratic donor and LGBTQ political activist Ed Buck was arrested Tuesday and charged with operating a drug house and providing methamphetamine to a 37-year-old man who overdosed last week, officials said.
Buck was charged with three counts of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. Buck is accused of injecting the victim, who survived, with methamphetamine on Sept. 11.
He is scheduled in court Wednesday.
The charges come after two mysterious deaths in his Laurel Avenue apartment in West Hollywood. In both cases, black men — Gemmel Moore 26, and Timothy Dean, 55 — were found dead inside. The first death in 2017 involved drugs, but authorities said there was insufficient evidence to file charges.
In January, after a second man was found dead, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said it will take another look at the first case. The deaths have sparked protests from activists who complain authorities are not doing enough.
Last year, prosecutors declined to file charges against Buck in connection with Moore’s fatal overdose in 2017, citing insufficient evidence, according to court records.
You have free articles remaining.
Los Angeles County coroner’s officials had concluded that Moore died from an accidental methamphetamine overdose in Buck’s apartment, which was littered with drug paraphernalia. Paramedics found Moore naked on a mattress in the living room, the coroner’s report said.
They ruled Moore’s death an accident, and an initial review by sheriff’s deputies found nothing suspicious. But in August 2017, homicide detectives launched a new investigation after Moore’s mother and friends questioned whether the drugs that killed him were self-administered.
A notebook found in Moore’s possession indicated he used drugs with someone whose name is redacted in the coroner’s report. The Los Angeles Times has reviewed pages of that journal, in which Moore purportedly wrote about using crystal methamphetamine.
“Ed Buck is the one to thank,” Moore appears to have written. “He gave me my first injection of chrystal [sic] meth.”
Prosecutors are asking that his bail be set at $4 million. If convicted as charged, Buck faces up to five years and eight months in state prison.