Donovan Ruiz, the man who was arrested at Cher’s sprawling Malibu mansion last week, has for now dodged murder charges related to a September drug overdose — but prosecutors filed a slew of other felony charges against the nephew of the superstar's assistant, RadarOnline.com can confirm.
According to court records obtained by Radar, Ruiz, 23, appeared at Ventura County Superior Court on September 28 where he was charged with one count of felony possession of cocaine base for sale; four counts of sale/transportation/offer to sell controlled substances; one count for selling of a designated controlled substance; and one count for possessing “a billy club, cane, blackjack, slungshot, sap, sandclub or sandbag.”
Ruiz also faces five special allegations that he had a firearm during the offenses.
He pleaded not guilty to all the counts, and has denied all of the allegations.
According to court records, Ruiz was previously arrested for an incident that occurred on Aug. 5, 2017, but the court discharged that case on Aug. 22, 2017 since prosecutors did not file a criminal complaint.
Ventura County Sheriff’s investigators executed a search warrant at Cher’s Malibu home on Sept. 27 where they seized evidence allegedly related to "Ruiz’s selling of illegal controlled substances,” according to law enforcement officials.
After Ruiz’s arrest, prosecutors filed charges against him in connection to the August 2017 incident.
Detectives told Radar Ruiz is suspected of supplying powerful painkiller Fentanyl to customers in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Officials also allege Ruiz sold Fentanyl to a Thousand Oaks resident, who later overdosed and died in mid-September. As of Monday, October 1, prosecutors have not filed charges against him in connection to the incident.
A source told Radar that Ruiz was living at Cher’s Malibu mansion, but the 72-year-old singer was not home when investigators served the warrant last week.
A public defender representing Ruiz requested the troubled man be released on his own recognizance, but that request was denied by the judge.
Ruiz was remanded to Ventura County Main Jail in lieu of $90,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear back in court on Oct. 10 for an early disposition conference. According to court records, Ruiz is eligible for state prison if convicted of the charges.
As Radar previously reported, Ruiz was also arrested for battery in February 2017 (the case is still pending), and grand theft auto in 2014 (the case was dismissed).
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