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Felony Drug Charge Filed Against Actor Gary Busey; Checks Into Betty Ford

May 9, 1995

MALIBU, Calif. (AP) _ Actor Gary Busey was charged Tuesday with felony cocaine possession in connection with an apparent drug overdose that hospitalized him for four days.

Busey, 50, was released from the hospital on Monday and later checked himself into the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, said publicist Jonathan Perry.

``They are currently evaluating him to see what his program will be,″ Perry said Tuesday. He declined to comment on the criminal charges.

Arrangements were being made for Busey to surrender for booking on the charges, the district attorney’s office said. He faces arraignment in about two weeks, but no date was set, said Deputy District Attorney Michael Wilson.

Busey, 50, was charged with one felony count of possession of cocaine and one count each of misdemeanor possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms, possession of marijuana and being under the influence of cocaine, Wilson said.

If convicted, Busey could be sentenced to three years on the felony charge and six months to a year on each misdemeanor charge, said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.

When Busey briefly returned to his home Monday afternoon, he was confronted by reporters and camera crews seeking comment.

``Let me be,″ Busey said. ``Give me that grace. I’ve been through a lot right now.″

Busey, nominated for an Academy Award for the 1978 film ``The Buddy Holly Story,″ was taken to Santa Monical Hospital Medical Center in serious condition Thursday night after a friend found him unconscious in a chair outside his home.

Investigators obtained a search warrant and allegedly found 1.5 grams of cocaine in Busey’s shirt pocket and 4 grams of marijuana, 2 grams of mushrooms and a half-gram of cocaine in the master bedroom.

Busey was seriously injured in a 1988 motorcycle crash and underwent brain surgery.

Busey’s other film credits include ``Big Wednesday,″ ``A Star is Born,″ ``Carny,″ ``Eye of the Tiger,″ ``Lethal Weapon,″ ``Point Break,″ ``The Player,″ ``Under Siege″ and ``The Firm.″

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