Judge Orders Ed Buck to Remain in Jail, Citing His Danger to the Community

Ed Buck in federal court on Sept. 19

Democratic Party fundraiser and activist Ed Buck was ordered Thursday to remain jailed pending his next federal court appearance on the charge of providing the methamphetamine that caused the overdose death of a man inside Buck’s West Hollywood apartment in July 2017.

At a brief detention hearing in Los Angeles federal court, Buck did not contest the government’s motion asking that he remain in custody.

“I don’t see anything that would alleviate danger,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick J. Walsh said, indicating that Buck presents a danger to the community, one of the primary issues discussed at federal detention hearings.

Buck is due back in federal court in downtown Los Angeles for arraignment Oct. 10.

Buck also faces state charges of running a drug den in his West Hollywood apartment, but the federal case will be handled first.

Buck, 65, was charged last week with a single count of distribution of methamphetamine resulting in the death of Gemmel Moore, who died July 27, 2017, of an overdose in Buck’s apartment at 1234 N. Laurel Ave. After complaints over several years from other residents, the owners of that building have recently filed an eviction notice against Buck.

Los Angeles County prosecutors had earlier declined to file any state charges against Buck over Moore’s death, citing insufficient evidence.

Moore, 26, was the first of two men to die at Buck’s apartment in less than 18 months. He was found dead of a crystal methamphetamine overdose, and the coroner ruled the death accidental. On Jan. 7 of this year, a second man died of methamphetamine toxicity at Buck’s home. The death of Timothy Dean, 55, of West Hollywood, was also ruled accidental. County prosecutors said that case remains under review.

Buck was not arrested until Sept. 17, when he was charged by the District Attorney’s Office over a near-fatal overdose in his apartment that occurred Sept. 11. Buck allegedly injected a man with “two dangerously large doses” of methamphetamine at Buck’s apartment. He allegedly administering a “dangerously large dose of methamphetamine” to the same man one week earlier, according to a bail memorandum filed by Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Barnes.

Buck allegedly refused to render aid to the man, who eventually fled from the apartment and called 911 from a nearby gas station, according to the document. The 37-year-old man suffered an overdose but survived, authorities said.

Buck was charged in Superior Court with one felony count each of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house. He appeared briefly in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom, but his arraignment was delayed until Oct. 11.

Buck was ordered to remain jailed in lieu of $4 million bail on the state charges, but was then transferred to federal custody. The state charges against Buck carry a possible prison sentence of five years and eight months, but the federal charge could land him behind bars for a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of life without parole.

Federal prosecutors said Buck has a history of injecting men with drugs and paying them for sexual activity. They contend Buck flew Moore to Los Angeles and gave him drugs and money in exchange for sex.

U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said investigators have identified 10 other “victims” — including Dean, who died in Buck’s apartment in January. The other nine victims all said Buck administered drugs to them or strongly encouraged them to do so, and paid them for sex, Hanna said.

According to a federal court affidavit, the man who nearly overdosed in Buck’s apartment — leading to the state charges — told investigators that “Buck solicited him to engage in sexual activities and distributed methamphetamine to him nearly every day during an approximately one-month period from on or about July 29, 2019, to on or about September 6, 2019.” The man said Buck “intravenously injected methamphetamine” into him on both Sept. 4 and Sept. 11, causing him “to suffer overdose effects, requiring him to be transported to the hospital.”

Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, has denied that his client — who allegedly was present when the fatal overdoses occurred in his apartment — had any involvement in either death.

Buck, a former Republican who first made headlines in the 1980s when he spearheaded a recall drive against Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham, has been a frequent donor to Democratic candidates and officeholders, including all current members of the West Hollywood City Council with the exception of Lindsey Horvath. He has also been active in LGBTQ political circles and once ran for the West Hollywood City Council.

  1. West Hollywood Sheriff’s have some explaining to do! They bungled this investigation from the beginning because the WeHo Sheriff department has an under current of homophobia and many do not care what happens to us. Maybe it’s time we have our own department that we aren’t sharing with other cities and are on tactical alert for Los Angeles, first and foremost. They aren’t attempting to prevent crimes, they are simply responding – when they feel like it.

  2. Ed Buck has been cited by a federal judge” as a danger to the community”. He’s not kidding!! All I want now is for the landlord of Buck’s old apartment to officially evict him.Should this man be released for whatever reason, at least he won’t be able to return to his play den to continue his reckless deeds.If he has a buddy paying his rent (not smart) while he is away,that buddy (real stupid) will be paying for a long time.

    1. I hope you do understand how the law works as an individual has to be criminally convicted first in order for a landlord to evict for criminal activity on the premises, etc.

      1. That’s not true. A landlord can evict for many, many reasons. Known drug use alone is a good enough reason. If worse comes to worst, a Sixty Day Notice can be given. That’s how the law works.

  3. Following Gemmel Moore being found dead of a drug overdose in the West Hollywood home of Ed buck, Moore’s family appeared pleading for help to find other victims of Buck’s “House of Death at the August 1917 city council meeting. I had thought WEHO TV had wasted taxpayer money, but I was wrong. Congratulations to WEHO TV on memorializing the Ed Buck hellish ordeal.

    Lindsay Horvath was the only one of the city council members to show any compassion for the Moore family. She too pleaded for citizens to come forth if they had information or could be of assistance in this sad crime. My opinion of Ms. Horvath has changed, she’s the heroine, a saint, in what is a racist WEHO nightmare. Heilman, D’Amico, and Meister didn’t make any comment or share compassion for Gemmel’s mother, her son’s death and her plea for help. Their mute reaction was probably out of guilt since they’d taken so much money from Buck. D’Amico’s only response later was to contribute a penny pinching $25 to the young man’s funeral after receiving thousands of dollars in political donations from his buddy Buck. So D’Amico could be elected to city council on a fur ban like West Hollywood was Rodeo Drive selling mink coats. Meister and Heilman didn’t even send a sympathy card.

    Then there’s John Duran. Following Horvath’s sharing, Duran popped up, warning any witnesses who had criminal records to consult with an attorney first. Displaying all the tact of an ambulance chaser, Duran scared off any of the desperate young black men witnesses who would have come forth as witnesses.

    What Duran intentionally failed to add to his so-called legal advice was that he was Buck’s longtime attorney. He did share it later with the LA Times reporter.

    But withholding information is habitual with Duran, recall during the sexual harassment lawsuit regarding his assistant who received $500,000 in a settlement. No one knew he’d met the young man on Grindr, had a one night stand then hired him as his assistant. When the

  4. Must every article about Ed Buck start out with Democratic donor or fundraiser? There are more important ways to describe Buck, especially now that he is in prison & considered a danger to society. His party affiliation becomes less & less relevant as his story unfolds & has become very trite & boring. Even the L.A. Times & some TV news broadcasts have been called out on this. Time to move on from his political party affiliation & deliver the facts that are actually part of a developing news story & I think will be for some time to come. My opinion.

      1. But the article stated that Buck had been a Republican activist. Don’t you think people should know that too?

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