Dem Donor Accused of Giving Drugs to Man Who Died, Expected to Be Released Due to COVID-19

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Ed Buck, who is accused of giving drugs to a man who died at the California political donor's West Hollywood apartment after being enticed across state lines for prostitution, is expected to ask to be set free today while awaiting trial.  Buck is scheduled to go to trial in Los Angeles federal court on nine felony counts next year. He also faces state charges of running a drug den, but the federal case will proceed first.  Buck's attorney is expected to argue before a magistrate judge that the COVID-19 pandemic currently moving through jails and prisons is a threat to 66-year-old Buck, who has also offered to put up a $400,000 signature bond and submit to electronic monitoring and home confinement.  Prosecutors, however, who allege that Buck has a history of injecting men with drugs and paying them for sexual activity, are expected to emphasize a previous ruling that denied pretrial release on grounds of danger to the community.  Buck was arrested last year after being charged in federal court with providing methamphetamine to a man who died after receiving the drug intravenously. Since then, federal authorities continued to investigate the defendant for additional crimes.  Buck now faces additional charges, including a count alleging that Buck enticed 26-year-old Gemmel Moore to travel to the Los Angeles area to engage in prostitution. Buck allegedly provided meth to Moore, who overdosed on the drug and died on July 27, 2017.  Buck also is charged with a second count of enticing a man to travel with the intent of engaging in prostitution. He is also accused of knowingly and intentionally distributing meth, and using his apartment for the purpose of distributing narcotics such as meth, and the sedatives gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and clonazepam.  Trial is scheduled for Jan. 19.  Federal prosecutors allege that Buck "engaged in a pattern of soliciting men to consume drugs that Buck provided and perform sexual acts at Buck's apartment," a practice described as "party and play," according to court papers.  Buck allegedly solicited victims on social media platforms, including a gay dating website, and used a recruiter to scout and proposition men. Once the men were at his apartment, Buck allegedly prepared syringes containing meth, sometimes personally injecting the victims with or without their consent, according to the indictment.  Buck also allegedly injected victims with more narcotics than they expected and sometimes injected victims while they were unconscious. Another victim, Timothy Dean, also suffered a fatal overdose in Buck's apartment, on Jan. 7, 2019, the indictment alleges.  Each of the charges alleging the distribution of narcotics resulting in death carries a mandatory minimum of 20 years in federal prison and possible maximum of life without parole.  Buck also faces charges, including operating a drug house, that were filed last year by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.