Detectives were able to build a case against Democratic donor Ed Buck on drug charges by following the 911 call made by a man who authorities allege was drugged at Buck’s West Hollywood home.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in an interview Wednesday that his department had been closely monitoring Buck after two men were found dead in his apartment, one in 2017 and the other earlier this year.
Buck was arrested and charged this week with operating a drug house, with prosecutors calling him a violent sexual predator who preys on men struggling with addiction and homelessness.
The latest man found in Buck’s home, identified in court papers as Joe Doe, went to the apartment on Sept. 4, where Buck “personally and deliberately” administered a large dose of methamphetamine, prosecutors said. Concerned he was overdosing, the man left Buck’s apartment to get medical help.
He returned to Buck’s apartment a week later, on Sept. 11, when Buck again injected him with “two dangerously large” doses of methamphetamine, prosecutors said.
But this time, prosecutors say, Buck thwarted the man’s attempts to leave. The man eventually fled the apartment and called 911 from a gas station. He was taken to a hospital for treatment. Sheriff’s investigators found hundreds of photographs in Buck’s home of men in compromising positions.
“The full scope of his consistent malicious behavior is unknown,” prosecutors said. “It is only a matter of time before another one of these vulnerable young men dies of an overdose.”
Buck is accused of luring his victims into his home and then baiting them with drugs, money and shelter.
“From his home, in a position of power, Buck manipulates his victims into participating in his sexual fetishes,” prosecutors wrote in court papers. “These fetishes include supplying and personally administering dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims.... Not deterred by the senseless deaths of Moore and Dean, the defendant nearly killed a third victim last week.”
Villanueva said Joe Doe provided the detectives with key evidence. While no charges were filed in the death of the two men, the sheriff said detectives were able to use evidence from those cases to show a pattern of conduct.
In 2017, a young African American man, Gemmel Moore, 26, was found dead inside Buck’s West Hollywood home under suspicious circumstances.
There were demands for an investigation and protests. But in the end, authorities said there was not enough evidence to charge Buck with a crime.
Then in January 2019, a second man, Timothy Dean, 55, was found dead in Buck’s apartment. There were more protests and demands for action, but Buck remained free and denied any wrongdoing in either case through his attorney.