Democratic donor Ed Buck arrested and charged with running drug den

PHOTO: Ed Buck interrupts California Republican Party gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitmans campaign event on Sept. 22, 2010, in Los Angeles.PlayGetty Images, FILE
WATCH Dem donor Ed Buck charged with operating drug house

Democratic megadonor and political activist Ed Buck was arrested Tuesday and charged with running a drug den out of his California home where prosecutors say he lured in addicted and homeless men.

Buck, 65, was charged with one felony count each of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. He is accused of injecting a 37-year-old man with methamphetamine who prosecutors said nearly died.

Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment early Wednesday morning.

“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 in a statement Tuesday.

Buck, a former model and actor, became involved in politics in the mid-1980s. Since then, he's made big dollar donations to Democratic politicians and is a well-known figure in LGBTQ political circles.

PHOTO: Ed Buck interrupts California Republican Party gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitmans campaign event on Sept. 22, 2010, in Los Angeles. Getty Images, FILE
Ed Buck interrupts California Republican Party gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman's campaign event on Sept. 22, 2010, in Los Angeles.

In court documents filed Tuesday, prosecutors described Buck as a "violent, dangerous sexual predator," with "no regard for human life," who "mainly preys on men made vulnerable by addiction and homelessness." Prosecutors alleged he uses narcotics, money and shelter as bait to draw victims into his home.

"From his home, in a position of power, Buck manipulates his victims into participating in his sexual fetishes," prosecutors wrote in court documents. "These fetishes include supplying and personally administering dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims."

Since 2017, two men have been found dead of apparent methamphetamine overdoses inside Buck's West Hollywood apartment. There were narcotics paraphernalia and sex toys at the scene in both incidents, according to court documents. However, prosecutors declined to file criminal charges, citing insufficient evidence.

Prosecutors said Buck was undeterred by the two deaths and continued "his malevolent behavior." On or around Sept. 4, prosecutors alleged Buck "personally and deliberately administered a dangerously large dose of methamphetamine" at his apartment to a 37-year-old man, identified in court documents as Joe Doe. The man left Buck's home to seek medical attention upon becoming concerned he had overdosed.

PHOTO: A man walks his dog past an apartment building, Jan. 8, 2019, where a man died in the apartment of Democratic Party donor Ed Buck, in West Hollywood, Calif. Jae C. Hong/AP, FILE
A man walks his dog past an apartment building, Jan. 8, 2019, where a man died in the apartment of Democratic Party donor Ed Buck, in West Hollywood, Calif.

The man returned to the residence on Sept. 11, and Buck again "personally and intentionally injected" him with "two dangerously large doses of methamphetamine," prosecutors said. As the man again began suffering symptoms of an overdose, prosecutors alleged Buck "refused to render aid" and instead "thwarted" the man's attempts to get help.

The man eventually fled Buck's apartment and called 911 from a nearby gas station. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, according to court documents.

“With this new evidence," Lacey said, "I authorized the filing of criminal charges against Ed Buck.”

During the investigation into the incident last week, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department found hundreds of photographs taken in Buck's apartment showing men in compromising positions, according to court documents. The case remains under investigation by the sheriff's department.

"The full scope of his consistent malicious behavior is unknown," prosecutors wrote in court documents. "It is only a matter of time before another one of these vulnerable young men dies of an overdose."

"His deadly behavior has not stopped," they added.

Buck is scheduled to be arraigned in court Wednesday. Prosecutors are recommending his bail be set at $4 million. If convicted as charged, Buck faces up to five years and eight months in California state prison.