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Ed Buck’s Drug Arrest And How Overdose Cases Are Prosecuted And Defended

Democratic Donor Ed Buck
Democratic Donor Ed Buck

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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.

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.

Buck, 65, has donated tens of thousands of dollars to California candidates, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, and is well known in LGBTQ political circles. He 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.

Following Buck’s arrest, Larry Mantle talks with legal experts who will explain how drug overdose cases are prosecuted and defended.

With files from the Associated Press

AirTalk reached out to Seymour Amster, the attorney representing Ed Buck, but as of the airing of this segment we have not received a response to our request. We will update this segment if we hear back from him.


Dmitry Gorin, criminal defense attorney with the Los Angeles-based firm Eisner Gorin, LLP and a former trial prosecutor in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and; he tweets @DmitryGorin

Matthew Ruff, criminal defense attorney in L.A. County who has handled many child abuse and neglect cases over 23 years