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Drugs and Alcohol

Ed Buck Arrested after Third, Non-Fatal OD, $4 Million Bail Requested

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Charged With Running Drug Den in West Hollywood Apartment

Ed Buck, a well known West Hollywood man connected to two previous deaths in his apartment, was charged today with operating a drug house and providing methamphetamine to a 37-year-old man who suffered an overdose last week, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

The complaint does not mince words.

“Buck is a violent, dangerous sexual predator. He mainly preys on men made vulnerable by addiction and homelessness,” it reads. “The defendant’s predatory acts and conscious disregard for human life must be stopped.”

Prosecutors describe the latest victim as having been lured on at least two recent occasions and given extremely large doses of crystal meth. On September 4, they say Buck “personally and deliberately” administered a large dose of methamphetamine. Concerned he was suffering an overdose, the man left the apartment to get medical help.

On Sept. 11, Buck is accused of luring the victim back and then injecting him with “two dangerously large” methamphetamine doses at the defendant’s apartment in the 1200 block of Laurel Avenue in West Hollywood. The man suffered an overdose but survived. Prosecutors say that Buck blocked the man’s attempts to get help, but he eventually fled the apartment and called 911 from a gas station. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Prosecutors are recommending bail be set at $4 million. If convicted as charged, Buck faces a possible maximum sentence of five years and eight months in state prison.

UPDATE: According to booking records, Buck was arrested at 8PM and processed at the West Hollywood station at 9PM. The “housing” location was also listed as West Hollywood as of midnight. At 1:06AM his record updated to show his location at the “INMATE RECEPTION CENTER” at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility near downtown.

Buck was reported to be sitting in the back of a law enforcement cruiser around 8PM, according to neighbor reports to Bill Melugin of FOX LA. The neighbor also said deputies have drug sniffing dogs on scene as well.

The latest overdose follows two previous deaths attributed to crystal methamphetamine overdoses. No charges have been filed in those cases.

Edward Buck (dob 8/24/54) was charged in case BA481154 with one felony count each of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house. He is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Photo of Young Black Man Entering Ed Buck’s WeHo Apartment Puts the Issue Back in the World News
Photo of young black man entering Ed Buck’s apartment after two previous overdose deaths.

“I remain deeply concerned for the safety of people whose life circumstances may make them more vulnerable to criminal predators,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said. “With this new evidence, I authorized the filing of criminal charges against Ed Buck.”

Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Barnes of the Major Crimes Division is prosecuting the case.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

A wrongful death civil rights lawsuit has been filed against Ed Buck and the DA concerning the 2017 meth overdose death of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore in Ed Buck’s West Hollywood apartment. Another black man, Timothy Dean, died on Jan. 7, 2019 under almost identical circumstances. Other Black men have been reported to be seen coming and going from the apartment.

The lawsuit is seeking damages against Ed Buck for the wrongful death of Gemmel Moore, sexual battery, drug dealer liability, premises liability, negligence per se, intentional infliction of emotional distress and hate violence.

Advocates for prosecuting Ed Buck produced a video summarizing their view of facts in two deaths.

19 days later, after Moore’s journal was published and appeared in news reports, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s homicide bureau opened an investigation.

On July 26, 2018, the District Attorney’s office, under the leadership of DA Jackie Lacey assisted by Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum, declined to file charges against Buck in connection with Moore’s death citing insufficient evidence. 6 months later on January 7, 2019, Timothy Dean, another Black gay man died in Buck’s apartment.

In his journal, Moore wrote, “I honestly don’t know what to do. I’ve become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that,” a December entry reads. “Ed Buck is the one to thank. He gave me my first injection of crystal meth it was very painful, but after all the troubles, I became addicted to the pain and fetish/fantasy.”

“My life is at an alltime [sic] high right now & I mean that from all ways. I ended up back at Buck [sic] house again and got munipulated [sic] into slamming again. I even went to the point where I was forced to doing 4 within a 2day [sic] period. This man is crazy and its [sic] sad. Will I ever get help?”

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  1. Lester F. Aponte

    September 18, 2019 at 5:03 PM

    Stonewall Democratic Club Statement on the Arrest of Ed Buck

    Contact:
    Ryan Basham, VP of Communications, Stonewall Democratic Club
    (323) 919-2799
    ryan.basham@stonewalldems.org

    Once again we are horrified by the news of an overdose at Ed Buck’s apartment, who was apparently undeterred by the tragic deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean. As alleged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney, Buck lures vulnerable men to his home “baiting them with drugs, money, and shelter” and then – for the purpose of sexual gratification – “personally administers dangerously large doses of narcotics.” This type of predatory conduct is shocking, yet sadly much too common with some members of the LGBTQ community.

    The Stonewall Democratic Club applauds the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s office for their diligence and for bringing criminal charges against Ed Buck. We understand that “innocent until proven guilty” is a lynchpin of our justice system but so is “no one is above the law,” no matter how wealthy or well connected. We hope to see justice for Mr. Moore, Mr. Dean and their families, as well as for this most recent victim who thankfully is alive to tell his story.

    Stonewall President Lester Aponte stated “From the beginning, Stonewall has condemned Mr. Buck’s conduct and called for a full investigation of the tragic deaths of Mr. Moore and Mr. Dean. We have joined the LGBTQ community and the people of West Hollywood in calling on authorities to protect the community and prevent further tragedies. We will be watching closely and demanding that justice is done.”

    Drug addiction and homelessness disproportionately affect LGBTQ youth, particularly young people of color. Vulnerable people need to be supported, not used. If you, or someone you know, needs help dealing with drug addiction and/or homelessness, there are resources available, including:

    SoCal Club
    8601 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90003
    323-905-5675
    https://socalclubla.org/

    Bienestar Human Services
    5326 E. Beverly Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA 90022
    (866) 590-6411
    INFO@BIENESTAR.ORG
    https://www.bienestar.org/who-we-are/

    Los Angeles LGBT Center
    McDonald/Wright Building
    1625 N. Schrader Boulevard
    Los Angeles, CA 90028-6213
    323-993-7400
    https://lalgbtcenter.org

    The Hollywood Homeless Youth Partnership
    4650 Sunset Blvd., MS#2
    Los Angeles, CA 90027
    Phone: (323) 361-3273
    http://hhyp.org/

    Stonewall encourages our community to support these organizations, and others, that serve our most vulnerable. Getting our youth off the street and helping those who struggle with addiction are vital to the overall health of our community.

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Celebrity News

Former ‘InfoWars’ Host Alex Jones Arrested for DWI in Texas

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'InfoWars' Host Alex Jones Arrested for DWI in Texas

TEXAS (TMZ) — According to police docs, cops were called to Jones’ residence for a family disturbance. When they arrived, his wife claimed they had a verbal altercation that “was physical” earlier in the day. She allegedly told the officer Jones took off in his car and was possibly drinking.

Cops caught up with him shortly afterward — sometime after 10 PM Monday night — and pulled him over. The arrest report says the officer detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from Jones.

Jones allegedly admitted he drank a bottle of sake while he and his wife were at a sushi restaurant a couple hours earlier, and they got into an argument. Jones told the officer he walked home, but the argument continued there … so he left to go to another residence to get away from her.

According to the report … Jones demonstrated some impairment during field sobriety tests, such as swaying and losing his balance, but he did blow slightly below a .08 on the Intoxilyzer — twice.

It should be noted … it’s unclear who the “wife” is in the report. Jones divorced his previous wife in 2015, and as far as we know … he has not remarried.

Alex Jones has a fresh DWI case deep in the heart of Texas … the former “InfoWars” host was busted early Tuesday morning in the Austin-area.

Jones was booked around 12:30 AM … according to the Travis County Sheriff’s Department. He was back on the streets by 4 AM, after posting a $3,000 bond — and as you might expect, Jones is telling his own version of events.

He went on his “Alex Jones Show” podcast and said he blew under the legal limit of .08 … so he thinks the whole charge will go away. “InfoWars” is already floating a conspiracy theory, saying Jones was caught in a DWI sting … aimed at increasing the Sheriff’s Department’s number of arrests.

So far, the Sheriff’s Department isn’t saying what Jones’ BAC was when he was arrested. Worth noting that in Texas you can be arrested for DWI even if you’re under the limit IF the officer thinks your driving ability is impaired.

Jones has been charged with misdemeanor DWI.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)


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Cannabis

Prop 64: DA Announces Dismissals of 66K Marijuana Convictions

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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Code for America has announced that nearly 66,000 marijuana convictions eligible for relief under Proposition 64 will be dismissed as part of their cutting-edge partnership. 

Today’s action marks the completion of the five-county Clear My Record pilot to clear marijuana-related convictions eligible for relief under Proposition 64. The other counties in the pilot include San Francisco, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Contra Costa.

In total, these five pilots will help reduce or dismiss more than 85,000 Proposition 64 eligible convictions. “The dismissal of tens of thousands of old cannabis-related convictions in Los Angeles County will bring much-needed relief to communities of color that disproportionately suffered the unjust consequences of our nation’s drug laws,” Lacey said. “I am privileged to be part of a system dedicated to finding innovative solutions and implementing meaningful criminal justice reform that gives all people the support they need to build the life they deserve.”

“Today’s action marks the completion of our California Clear My Record pilot, through which we will have helped to dismiss and seal more than 85,000 marijuana convictions across the state,” said Evonne Silva, Code for America’s Senior Program Director of Criminal Justice. “This is a clear demonstration that automatic record clearance is possible at scale and can help to right the wrongs of the failed war on drugs. Looking forward, Code for America stands at the ready to help all California counties provide this much needed relief in advance of the July 1, 2020 deadline.” 

Prosecutors this week asked a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to dismiss 62,000 felony cannabis convictions for cases that date back to 1961.

The District Attorney’s Office also sought the dismissal of approximately 4,000 misdemeanor cannabis possession cases that included cases filed in 10 Los Angeles County cities: Los Angeles, Long Beach, Torrance, Pasadena, Inglewood, Burbank, Santa Monica, Hawthorne, Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach. 

Approximately 53,000 individuals will receive conviction relief through this partnership. Of those, approximately 32% are Black or African American, 20% are White, 45% are Latinx, and 3% are other or unknown.


Proposition 64 identifies three health and safety code sections that qualified for resentencing: cultivation of marijuana, possession for sale of marijuana and sales and/or transport of marijuana, all felonies. The law also includes dismissing possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor.

District Attorney Lacey used additional criteria to go beyond the parameters of the new law to ensure the greatest number of dismissals. Those expanded parameters include persons who are 50 years or older, haven’t had a felony conviction in the past 10 years or have successfully completed probation for cannabis convictions.


Based on this criteria, Code for America created a unique algorithm for the office in order to fast-track the identification of eligible convictions. This technology can analyze eligibility for thousands of convictions in seconds, alleviating the need for DA staff to go through state criminal records one by one to evaluate eligibility, saving time and significant resources. 

AB 1793 Implementation

In California, all county District Attorney’s Offices are required to implement AB 1793 by July 1, 2020. Earlier this year, Code for America launched its new Clear My Record Application and Implementation Blueprint, available at no cost and open source to all California counties.

These resources allow every District Attorneys’ Office to expedite and streamline review of Proposition 64 convictions. The Clear My Record Application allows District Attorneys to securely and accurately evaluate eligibility for convictions by reading and interpreting criminal history data from the California Department of Justice.

Code for America has received an overwhelming interest from counties in accessing these resources to carry out the law. Code for America stands ready to work with counties that have not yet used this technology to help them automate the record clearance process and provide relief as required by law.

Record Clearance for the Digital Age

The current record clearance process was not designed to reach everyone who is eligible. With the current petition-based process, each person seeking relief must petition the court to clear their records, but this is a time-consuming, expensive, and confusing process. It is no surprise, then, that only 3% of those eligible for relief under Proposition 64 have received it.

Code for America’s pilot partnerships have set the standard for the statewide implementation of AB 1793, which tasks prosecutors with affirmatively reviewing convictions eligible for dismissal or reduction under Proposition 64.

This novel approach also creates a blueprint for the future of record clearance for remedies beyond Proposition 64 – the development of policy and technology that expands, streamlines and automates the record clearance process at scale. Code for America has been making it easier for people to remove eligible convictions from their records through Clear my Record technology since 2016.

To find out if your record has been cleared

To find out if your record has been cleared, or for more information about this initiative, contact the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office by phone at (323) 760-6763 or visit http://pubdef.lacounty.gov. The Public Defender’s Office will reply to all inquiries.

About Code for America

Code for America believes that government must work for the people, and by the people, in the digital age, starting with the people who need it most. It builds digital services that enhance government capabilities, and helps others do the same across all levels of government. It organizes thousands of volunteers across nearly 80 chapters nationwide who improve government in their local communities. Their goal: a 21st century government that effectively and equitably serves all Americans.

Learn more at codeforamerica.org.

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Drugs and Alcohol

15 Conspirators Charged in LA Drug Trafficking Ring Indictment

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LOS ANGELES – Law enforcement announced Wednesday they have arrested 11 defendants charged in a federal grand jury indictment in the Central District of California, alleging they participated in a long-running drug trafficking operation that distributed kilograms of heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine from multiple locations in Los Angeles County, including a storefront in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of northeast Los Angeles.

The 20-count indictment charges a total of 15 defendants with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and alleges a series of acts in furtherance of the conspiracy between December 2015 and December 2019.

Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized approximately eight kilograms of cocaine, five kilograms of heroin, 10 kilograms of methamphetamine, 10 firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and more than $200,000 in suspected drug proceeds.

The 11 defendants arrested are expected to make their initial court appearance this afternoon in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles.

Those arrested include Gabriel Ortega, a.k.a. “Nightowl,” 42, of Lynwood, alleged to be one of the organization’s ringleaders who allegedly directed narcotics distribution operations from his home in Lynwood and from a storefront he operated in Lincoln Heights.

Ortega sold nearly one pound of methamphetamine for $2,800 on two separate occasions at his Lincoln Heights storefront between December 2015 and February 2016, the indictment alleges.

Also arrested was Raul Sanchez, a.k.a. “Rawlo,” 39, of Alhambra, another of the organization’s alleged ringleaders, charged with being one of the ring’s primary distributors of narcotics.

On March 21, 2018, Sanchez allegedly coordinated the delivery of 4.9 kilograms (10.8 pounds) of cocaine, 3.9 kilograms (8.6 pounds) of heroin, and 7 kilograms (15.4 pounds) of methamphetamine to a storage facility in Alhambra. He also allegedly possessed three unregistered “ghost guns,” one .45-caliber Glock pistol, and ammunition at the Alhambra location.

In addition to the conspiracy charge, Ortega and Sanchez each face individual charges of knowingly and intentionally possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances. Sanchez, who previously was convicted in Los Angeles Superior Court of four separate drug possession charges, also has been charged with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.

If convicted on all counts, the defendants would face a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison and mandatory minimum sentences of at least 10 years in federal prison. An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bruce K. Riordan of the Violent and Organized Crime Section.

The Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Group 51 and the Los Angeles Police Department investigated this matter. HIDTA Group 51 is comprised of members of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and the LAPD.

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