LOS ANGELES - The former nightclub owner acquitted of four 1981 murders that put a spotlight on Hollywood's seedy side of sex, drugs and pornography, has been charged again, this time with orchestrating the killings.
Eddie Nash, also known as Adel Gharib Nasrallah, also was charged Friday with running a crime ring that authorities say has moved heroin, cocaine and other drugs for at least 25 years, using murder, mayhem and other tactics to protect its activities.
Nash, 71, could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted. He was arrested at his San Fernando Valley home Friday and ordered to appear in court Monday.
''For the last quarter of a century Mr. Nash has operated an enterprise, an association of criminals, engaged in a variety of criminal activities, including narcotics trafficking, murder, bribery, wire fraud, money laundering,'' Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Larsen said.
A 16-count grand jury indictment unsealed Friday accuses Nash of ordering the killing of four people at a Laurel Canyon drug den in 1981 and of bribing the lone juror who voted against convicting him of the murders in 1990. Nash was acquitted of the killings in a second trial in 1991.
Nash's lawyer, Bradley Brunon, dismissed the allegations as a rehash of old charges.
''This is a very tragic situation,'' he said. ''Mr. Nash is in poor health from a chronic respiratory disease. I have no doubt that this process will ultimately kill him.''
The indictment also identifies five unindicted ''co-racketeers,'' including Nash's late bodyguard, Gregory DeWitt Diles, and the late pornographic film star John Holmes.
It claims Diles and Holmes moved drugs for Nash and also were involved in the 1981 killings that took place in what authorities described as a ''drug den'' on Wonderland Avenue, a quiet, tree-lined street that winds through the Hollywood Hills near Laurel Canyon.
The four victims were clubbed to death in what prosecutors contended was retaliation for a $1 million burglary that had occurred two days before at Nash's home in nearby Studio City.
Prosecutors said Holmes led three thugs into the Wonderland home and then watched as they beat the victims to death.
The trial threw a spotlight on the seedier side of Hollywood, with Scott Alan Thorson, the lover of the late pianist Liberace, among those who testified.