LOS ANGELES – Prominent California Democratic Party donor Edward
Buck has been charged with operating a drug den after injecting
a man with methamphetamine in his West Hollywood home where two
other men previously died of apparent overdoses, prosecutors
Buck, who donated to former President Barack Obama and 2016
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, is a well-known
activist in California politics.
Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, declined comment.
Buck, 65, was arrested on Tuesday by Los Angeles County
sheriff’s deputies and held on bail of $4 million, according to
online inmate records.
He was not expected to appear in court for an arraignment before
Thursday, said Greg Risling, a spokesman for the Los Angeles
County District Attorney’s Office.
Buck made headlines earlier this year after a man was found dead
at his West Hollywood apartment on Jan. 7, less than two years
after another man died there.
They died of apparent methamphetamine overdoses, the Los Angeles
County District Attorney’s Office said in court papers. Both men
were African-American. Buck is white.
Amster, following the second death, told the Los Angeles Times
in an article published in March that his client had a “heart of
gold” and brought troubled people into his home to offer them
“Still not deterred despite two deaths in his apartment, Buck
persisted in his malevolent behavior,” prosecutors said in the
court papers, in which they requested his bail amount remain at
Prosecutors said that on Sept. 11, Buck injected methamphetamine
into a 37-year-old man identified as Joe Doe, who overdosed but
survived after fleeing the apartment. At one point, Buck tried
to stop the man from getting help, they said.
Buck was charged on Tuesday with one felony count each of
battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine
and maintaining a drug house.
Buck “preys on men made vulnerable by addiction and
homelessness” and he “manipulates his victims into participating
in his sexual fetishes,” prosecutors said in court papers.
“I remain deeply concerned for the safety of people whose life
circumstances may make them more vulnerable to criminal
predators,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey
said in a statement.
U.S. Representative Karen Bass, a Democrat from California, said
in a statement that Buck’s arrest was “too little, too late”
because nothing was done in the immediate aftermath of the
deaths of two black men at his home.
“The inaction in response had a message that was loud and clear:
Black gay lives obviously didn’t matter,” Bass said.
Buck, if convicted of the charges against him, faces a possible
maximum sentence of five years and eight months in state prison.
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