Sep 18, 2019

Democratic megadonor Ed Buck charged with running California drug den

Democratic megadonor Ed Buck (C) interrupts a California Republican Party event in Los Angeles in 2010. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

California Democratic megadonor Ed Buck faces charges including maintaining a drug house after a third man overdosed in his West Hollywood home last week, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The big picture: In January, police found a man dead inside his apartment for the second time in 2 years, per the New York Times. On Tuesday, prosecutors filed criminal charges against Buck after a 37-year-old man overdosed in his apartment on Sept. 11, Los Angeles District Attorney's Office said in a statement. The man survived.

  • Buck is accused of injecting the man with methamphetamine at his home, the LA District Attorney's Office said. He was also charged with battery causing serious injury and administering methamphetamine.
  • The deaths of 2 African American men at Buck's apartment were ruled accidental, the LA Times reported.
  • 50 civil rights organizations and the Los Angeles LGBT Center urged police in January to investigate reports that Buck had a history of bringing African American men to his apartment to allegedly inject them with crystal methamphetamine for sexual gratification, per the LA Times.
  • Buck is facing a lawsuit from the mother of Gemmel Moore, 26, who died inside Buck’s apartment on July 27, 2017, The Daily Beast reports.

Background: Buck, a one-time candidate for West Hollywood City Council, is a prominent LGBTQ activist who's donated thousands of dollars to local Democrats, former President Obama, 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and animal rights causes, BuzzFeed reports.

What they're saying: Seymour Amster, Buck’s attorney, told Fox News that he would not comment on the arrest, but the news outlet notes that he has in the past said that his client did nothing wrong.

What's next: Buck is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday. Prosecutors are recommending bail be set at $4 million, the LA District Attorney's Office said.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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