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Drug charges filed against actor Busey

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MALIBU, Calif., May 9 -- Drug charges were filed Tuesday against actor Gary Busey, who was released this week after four days in the hospital with an apparent cocaine overdose. Authorities say cocaine and other drugs were found during a search of Busey's Malibu home last week. Busey has not been arrested. He was released in good condition from a Santa Monica hospital Monday morning and later checked himself into a drug treatment program at the Betty Ford Center near Palm Springs, said publicist Jonathan Perry, who declined to comment further. Deputy District Attorney Michael Wilson said he expected to work out an arrangement for Busey's surrender through the actor's attorney. Busey will probably be arraigned in about two weeks in Malibu Justice Court, where Wilson said he will ask the judge to set bail at $10,000. Busey, 50, was charged with one felony count of cocaine possession and three misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana, possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms and being under the influence of cocaine. If convicted, Busey faces a maximum sentence of three years in jail. The drugs were allegedly discovered when a woman identified as Busey's fiancee called authorities after finding the actor unconscious in his bedroom. Sheriff's deputies who arrived with paramedics said they found 1.5 grams of cocaine in Busey's shirt pocket. After the deputies returned with a search warrant, authorities said another half gram of cocaine was found inside the house along with four grams of marijuana and two grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

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Busey first gained fame for his Oscar-nominated role in 1978's 'The Buddy Holly Story' and more recently appeared in such films as 'The Firm' and 'Under Siege.' The actor has a history of drug problems. In an interview in February 1988, Busey said: 'I've been clean for two years and nine months.... Until then I was so wired I could set up a Ferris wheel all by myself in 10 minutes.' An outspoken critic of motorcycle helmet legislation, Busey was nearly killed in December 1988 in a motorcycle crash. He underwent brain surgery for blood clots lodged between his brain and his skull but showed no signs of brain damage.

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