Democratic Donor and Activist Ed Buck Charged With Operating a Drug House

Los Angeles County district attorney’s office says Buck gave methamphetamine to a man who overdosed

Ed Buck
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Ed Buck, a prominent LGBT activist and Democratic Party donor based in West Hollywood, has been charged with operating a drug house and with providing drugs to a man who overdosed but survived, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

In court filings that refer to Buck as “a violent, dangerous predator,” prosecutors say the victim, identified only as Joe Doe, first went to Buck’s West Hollywood residence on Sept. 4. At that time, the filing says, Buck “personally and deliberately administered a dangerously large dose of methamphetamine” to Doe, who became concerned he had overdosed and left Buck’s home to seek medical attention.

Doe returned to Buck’s residence on Sept. 11, at which time, prosecutors say, Buck gave Doe two large doses of methamphetamine. Doe experienced symptoms of an overdose, the filing says, but Buck refused to provide any aid to Doe, and attempted to prevent Doe from leaving his house to seek medical help. Doe eventually fled, called 911 and was taken to a hospital, prosecutors said.

The filing noted that two previous men have died while under the influence of drugs at Buck’s home: Gemmel Moore, who was found dead of an apparent methamphetamine overdose in July 2017 while surrounded by paraphernalia including needles and smoking pipes; and Timothy Dean, who was found dead in January.

Dean’s death prompted protests from members of the LGBT community who said police were neglecting serious crimes, and calls for further investigations from over 50 civil rights groups. Buck, who according to the New York Times has donated more than $116,000 to Democratic candidates and causes, formerly served on the Stonewall Democratic Club Steering Committee, but was kicked out after Dean’s death.

“From his home, in a position of power, Buck manipulates his victims into participating in his sexual fetishes,” the court filing says. “These fetishes include supplying and personally administering dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims … The Defendant’s predatory acts and conscious disregard for human life must be stopped.”

“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 Tuesday night. “With this new evidence, I authorized the filing of criminal charges against Ed Buck.”

Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.

Buck has been charged with battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house; each charge is a felony count, and he will be arraigned on Wednesday in Los Angeles. Prosecutors are asking that bail be set at $4 million. The case is being investigated by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which has jurisdiction in West Hollywood.