A major California Democratic donor was charged with running a drug house where two men died of overdoses and the third man reportedly suffered an overdose inside his home last week and survived.

Edward Buck who was arrested at his home in West Hollywood on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 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 to his victims, Los Angeles County prosecutors said in a motion.

He was also charged with furnishing methamphetamine and with battery causing serious bodily injury.

In July 2017, a young black man, Gemmel Moore, was found dead of a methamphetamine overdose in Buck’s apartment. The second man, Timothy Dean, also died of overdose in his home in January 2019.

Buck has been scrutinized because the two men were black and Buck, who is white, was not charged.

Prosecutors accused Buck of injecting a man with dangerous doses earlier this month and thwarting the man’s attempt to get help. The man later fled Buck’s apartment and called 911 from a gas station.

“His deadly behavior has not stopped,” prosecutors contended.

Buck who is due in court Wednesday should be held on $4 million bail.

Political involvement

Buck waded into politics after the 1986 race for Arizona governor in which a far-right conservative, Evan Mecham won the general election. Buck then identified as a Republican devoted himself to a campaign to recall Mecham. His group eventually succeed in May of 1988. During the campaign, Mecham’s supporters made public that Buck had been arrested for public sexual indecency in 1983 and indicted for “attempting to obtain a narcotic through fraud or deceit” for attempting to pass a fake prescription for Percocet, WeHoville reported.

When he arrived in West Hollywood in 1991, Buck, who had been openly gay from the age of 16, started focusing his work on fundraising for LGBT rights organizations, animal rights causes, and Democratic political candidates. He stayed involved with local politics after failing to run for a seat in West Hollywood City Council in 2007, as reported the Los Angeles Magazine.

He has donated tens of thousands of dollars to California candidates and activist groups, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, and is well known in LGBTQ community.

Buck donated $2,700 to Rep. Ted Lieu of California in 2017, he gave $10,400 to the Getting Stuff Done PAC affiliated with Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and $1,000 each to four other Democratic candidates. In 2015, he gave $2,700 to Hillary Clinton, $5,000 to the House Majority PAC that supports Democrats in 2014 and $1,000 to Barack Obama in 2008, according to CNN.

Includes reporting from the Associated Press

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