A federal grand jury has indicted noted political activist and donor Ed Buck on charges he provided illegal drugs that caused the overdose deaths of two men and distributed drugs to others.
The indictment, unsealed early Wednesday, expands the allegations against Buck, who was initially charged in U.S. District Court with distributing methamphetamine resulting in the death of one of the men, Gemmel Moore, in July 2017.
Moore, 26, died of an overdose inside Buck's West Hollywood apartment.
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The indictment accuses Buck of providing methamphetamine that caused the overdose of Timothy Dean, 55, who died in Buck's apartment in January. Dean's death was referenced in the initial criminal case that charged Buck in federal court, but he was not identified by name.
It also adds three counts of distributing methamphetamine to three other men between 2018 and 2019.
Buck could face a sentence of between 20 years and life in prison if he's convicted on the federal charges and more than 5 years in prison if he's convicted on state charges.
He's being held in federal custody without bail. At a detention hearing last week U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Walsh briefly considered whether Buck would be a flight risk or a danger to the community if allowed out on bond.
"I don't see anything that would alleviate my concern about danger," Walsh said. Buck did not object to being held in jail until trial.
Two days before the initial federal charge was filed September 17 Buck was arrested by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies on state felony charges, that accused him of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine, and maintaining a drug house.
The LA County District Attorney's Office said those charges stemmed from the life threatening drug overdoses of a man identified in court documents as, "Joe Doe," on Sept. 4 and 11, but were otherwise unrelated to the deaths of Moore and Dean.
At the detention hearing Sept. 26 Walsh also asked Buck's federal public defender if LA County authorities had returned $4-million that Buck apparently posted for bail on the original state charges.
No answer was provided in court, and a spokesperson for LA Superior Court said it was not clear from court records if Buck had tried to post bail before he was charged in federal court.