Ed Buck’s attorneys Tuesday attacked a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy’s declaration that she saw a substance appearing to be methamphetamine along with drug paraphernalia in plain view at the California political donor’s apartment when she was called to the scene of a man’s overdose death.
Buck, 66, is accused of giving drugs to the man who died at his West Hollywood apartment after allegedly being lured across state lines for prostitution. He faces nine felony counts in Los Angeles federal court, plus state charges of running a drug den. The federal case will proceed first, on April 20.
During a Zoom hearing Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder heard from the defendant, attorneys and sheriff’s deputy Grehtel Barraza, who said she responded to a call for service at Buck’s apartment on July 27, 2017, and saw drug evidence in plain view in open drawers of a rolling tool cabinet.
The deputy told the judge that she noticed several “used syringes,” a “bulbous glass pipe” and a clear plastic bag containing a “crystal-like substance” she took to be methamphetamine in open drawers of the red tool chest. Sex toys were also exposed in another open drawer, Barraza said.
Attempting to have the judge throw out the deputy’s sworn declaration, defense attorney Ludlow Creary II questioned whether Barraza could have seen anything in a tool chest which, as Buck alleged, had no open drawers when the deputy was in the room.
Buck, appearing via Zoom from the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles, testified that he called 911 that day for help with his friend, Gemmel Moore, who was unresponsive.
The defendant said he remembers the drawers of the tool cabinet were shut, and, in fact, were always kept shut because otherwise the chest could tip over.
Snyder took the matter under submission.
Buck was arrested in September 2019 after being charged in federal court with providing methamphetamine to a man who died after receiving the drug intravenously. He now faces additional charges, including a count alleging that he enticed 26-year-old 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 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.