Democratic Donor Ed Buck Convicted On Charges in Drug Deaths Trial

Two Black men died in Buck's apartment after being injected with meth; Buck faces life in prison

Democratic Donor Ed Buck Convicted On Charges in Drug Deaths Trial
Photo:Damian Dovarganes (AP)

Democratic donor Ed Buck was convicted Tuesday on nine felony charges, including two counts of distribution of methamphetamine resulting in death. Two Black men, 26-year-old Gemmel Moore and 55-year-old Timothy Dean, died in Buck’s West Hollywood apartment in 2017 and 2019 respectively, after being injected with meth. Buck’s case drew considerable attention as details of Buck’s apparent fetish of injecting Black men (many of them homeless) emerged, as well as a result of L.A. County prosecutors’ inaction even after two men died in Buck’s apartment. Buck was only charged when federal investigators took over his case. The jury reportedly deliberated for only two hours before delivering its verdict.

CNN reports that in addition to the two counts of distribution of methamphetamine resulting in death, Buck was found guilty of distribution of methamphetamine (four counts), maintaining a drug-involved premises (one count), and enticement to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution (two counts). Buck’s mandatory minimum sentence in federal prison is 20 years, but he could be sentenced to life. CNN reports that he also faces state charges filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

“I’m so glad that he will never see the light of day again,” Dean’s sister Joann Campbell told press after the verdict was announced. “This trial was overwhelming. It was grueling. This man did some terrible things to human beings.” The trial included testimonies of other men who said they did drugs and had sex with Buck, as well as the showing of videos of such activity from Buck’s private stash. According to Jasmyne Cannick’s in-depth reporting of the trial, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department recovered more than 2,400 videos from Buck, and 1,500 contained instances of drug use.

Moore’s mother LaTisha Nixon said that Tuesday was “bittersweet,” adding, “But we got victory today.”

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