California Democratic donor pleads not guilty in drug deaths

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LOS ANGELES — California political donor Ed Buck has pleaded not guilty to federal drug charges in the overdose deaths of two men in his apartment.

Buck entered the plea Thursday before a magistrate judge in Los Angeles as relatives of the men watched.

An indictment charges Buck with distributing methamphetamine resulting in the deaths of Timothy Dean in January and Gemmel Moore in 2017.

Federal prosecutors say Buck preyed on vulnerable gay men and pressured them to let him inject them with drugs as part of a sexual ritual.

Buck is also charged with providing meth to three more men, including one who overdosed.

Buck has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic causes.

His trial was scheduled for Nov. 26.

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