Self-proclaimed multimillionaire and Democratic donor Ed Buck – already embroiled in controversy over two men found dead in his home of overdoses -- was charged late Tuesday with running a drug den.
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The 65-year-old, picked up at his West Hollywood home, also faces counts of administering methamphetamine and battery causing serious bodily injury, all of which are felonies, authorities said.
Buck, who is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges on Wednesday, is a “violent, dangerous sexual predator” who targeted homeless, drug-addled men – offering them drugs, money and a place to stay, Los Angeles county prosecutors said in a filing.
In exchange, the men partook in often bizarre sex acts, including a fetish involving administering dangerous doses of drugs, according to the legal papers. Prosecutors are now asking that Buck be held on $4 million bail. His attorney, Seymour Amster, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from FOX Business.
On Sept. 11, Buck injected a 37-year-old man with methamphetamine while inside his apartment, prosecutors said, then refused to help when the dose proved too high. The man survived after he was able to escape the apartment and call 911, prosecutors said.
Two other men were not so fortunate. Timothy Dean, 55, and 26-year-old Gemmel Moore, both of whom were African American, died of accidental drug overdoses inside Buck’s apartment in January 2019 and July 2017, respectively.
While prosecutors on Tuesday blamed the pair of deaths on Buck, the political firebrand was never criminally charged, prompting public speculation and criticism. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Buck was born in 1954; his mother was a secretary and his father was a city sanitation worker, the Los Angeles Times reported in January.
He moved to Europe to pursue modeling and acting in his early 20s before returning to Arizona, where he began working for a friend’s company – which the Times described as “an information service for auto insurers” – and ultimately bought the business.
He sold the company at age 32 for what he said was a “million-dollar profit,” according to the Arizona Republic newspaper. Additional details about the source of his wealth were not immediately available.
While Buck once identified himself as a conservative Republican, according to the Los Angeles Times, he became a national figure when he spearheaded the effort to impeach Arizona’s Republican Gov. Evan Mecham in the 1980s. He later made large donations to Democrats, including more than $500,000 since 2007, according to court documents filed by Moore's mother in a wrongful death suit pertaining to her son.
At the federal level, those include contributions to prominent Washington lawmakers as well as 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. At the local level, Buck has donated more than $51,000 to Los Angeles city and county officials, candidates, and affiliated parties dating to 2008.
In 2012, Buck contributed $100 to the campaign for Jackie Lacey for Los Angeles County District Attorney, and four years later, gave $1,400 to Eric Garcetti for Mayor of Los Angeles. Both Lacey and Garcetti still hold their titles.
The highest contribution was $13,000, according to the court papers, to former West Hollywood Mayor John Duran when he ran for county supervisor in 2014.
The openly-gay mayor was the subject of multiple sexual harassment allegations, including one lawsuit that resulted in the city’s payment of a $500,000 settlement, according to the newspaper.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.