Renowned political donor and activist Ed Buck has re-filed for release pending trial for supplying illegal drugs to two men who died in his West Hollywood apartment.

Buck, 65, argued he was at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 in prison because of his age and because he says he has gum disease and needs heart care specialized.

Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to keep Buck in custody, citing the risk of flight and the potential danger to the community if released.

Buck’s defense attorneys Christopher Darden and Ludlow Creary, II, argued in a petition filed last week that Buck has long-standing ties to the community and would not flee if released. They said Buck would sign a $ 400,000 appearance bond, return his passport and accept electronic surveillance if released.

Buck has been in custody since his arrest by LA County Sheriff’s Department deputies on September 17. He was quickly turned over to federal authorities and charged with distributing methamphetamine resulting in the death of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore. , in July 2017, and Timothy Dean, 55, who died in Buck’s apartment in January 2019.

The indictment also charged Buck with three counts of distributing methamphetamine to three other men between 2018 and 2019. Buck could face a sentence ranging from 20 years to life in prison if convicted of the federal charges. He pleaded not guilty.

At a first detention hearing last fall, U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Walsh briefly considered whether Buck would pose a flight risk or a danger to the community if allowed to go out on bail.

“I don’t see anything that could lessen my concern about danger,” Justice Walsh said.

Buck did not object to being held in jail until trial.

Two days before the initial federal charge was laid, Buck was indicted in state court with battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house. He pleaded not guilty.

The LA County District Attorney’s Office said the charges stemmed from the life-threatening drug overdoses of a man identified in court documents as “Joe Doe” on September 4 and 11, 2019, but were not elsewhere not related to the death of Moore and Dean. .

During the detention hearing on September 26, Judge Walsh also asked Buck’s Federal Public Defender whether Los Angeles County officials returned the $ 4 million that Buck apparently posted on bail for the initial charges of the ‘State. No response was provided in court, and a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Superior Court said it was not clear from court records whether Buck attempted to post bail before he went. be charged in federal court.

Buck’s defense attorneys did not immediately respond to calls on Monday.

The federal criminal trial is expected to begin in January 2021.

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