Houseguest Arrested at Cher's Home Slapped With More Weapons and Drug Charges

The man who was arrested last week at Cher's home in Malibu was charged with several drug and weapons crimes.

Donovan Ruiz was charged with possession of narcotics for sale, two counts of sale of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, two counts of possession of methamphetamines and possession of a baton — all seven of which are felonies, according to court records via The Blast.

In addition to the seven felonies, Ruiz was also charged with six enhancement charges related to possession of a firearm.

The Ventura County District Attorney also charged Ruiz with seven additional charges related to an August arrest: possession of handgun ammunition designed privately to penetrate metal or armor; possession of a concealed weapon; possession of a baton; possession of methamphetamines for sale, possession of a controlled substance; possession of marijuana for the purpose of sale; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Represented by a public defender, Ruiz has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him.

All of the new charges are unrelated to his alleged involvement in selling fentanyl. As previously reported, law enforcement officers with the Ventura County Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit had been investigating Ruiz and think he may have sold fentanyl to someone in Thousand Oaks who later died after consuming it. On Thursday, when the search warrant was served at Cher's Malibu mansion, detectives seized evidence related to Ruiz's selling of the "illegal controlled substances."

"The target of the search warrant is Donovan Ruiz," Sgt. Eric Buschow told PEOPLE last week after Ruiz was arrested. "His arrest is related to a narcotics overdose that occurred within the last two weeks."

Garo Kuredjian, a captain with the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, said that police determined Ruiz was responsible for supplying drugs to a victim who died of an overdose in mid-September.

Sources close to the 23-year-old tell The Blast that Ruiz is a "good person" who would "never sell drugs that would kill someone."

Ruiz is still in custody with bond set at $900,000. He's scheduled to appear in court Monday.

It was first reported that Ruiz was Cher's longtime assistant's son; police did not confirm that relationship, although they did confirm that he was living at the residence.


Cher, 72, was not home at the time of the arrest, as she was in Australia for her tour at the time.

Fentanyl is the drug that Prince's 2016 death was attributed to, as well as the death of Tom Petty. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says that fentanyl is a "powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent." Typically used to treat patients with severe pain, it is also sometimes used to "treat patients with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to other opioids."