A Los Angeles jury convicted high-profile Democratic political donor Ed Buck of injecting men with drugs in return for sex acts, leading to two deaths. Buck was found guilty on all 9 counts with which he was charged.
Buck was convicted Tuesday of multiple drug trafficking charges in connection with the deaths of two Black men who overdosed on methamphetamine at his apartment.
Who is Ed Buck?
Edward Bernard Peter Buck is an American businessman, political activist, Democratic political fundraiser, and convicted felon. A former model and actor, he made a significant amount of money running and selling the data service company Gopher Courier.
Buck, an LGBTQ activist and former candidate for the West Hollywood City Council, was once a prominent figure in California and Arizona political circles, reports American news website BuzzFeed.
Buck, a notable political donor, had given more than $53,000 to Democratic candidates and to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee since 2008, according to federal records. Several Democrats returned Buck's campaign donations after he was charged.
Buck's Evil Works
Two African-American men have been discovered dead in Buck's West Hollywood home since 2017 due to drug overdose. Several reports indicated that Buck had a history of bringing African-American men to his house, where he would reportedly inject them with high doses of crystal methamphetamine for sexual gratification.
Buck was convicted on nine federal charges, including two counts of distribution of controlled substances resulting in death, in connection to the July 2017 death of Gemmel Moore and the January 2019 death of Timothy Dean.
One of Buck's attorneys, Ludlow Creary II, said his client engaged in sex sessions that involved drugs with men he met online but could not be held responsible for the deaths of the two men, reported Fox News. "This is a subculture, a lifestyle that may be shocking to some of us," he said during his closing argument. "Everyone involved was there voluntarily."
Buck Targeted Individuals Who Were Homeless or Struggling With Drug Addiction
"Buck exerted power and control over his victims, typically targeting individuals who were destitute, homeless or struggling with drug addiction," the Department of Justice said in a release Tuesday, according to NBC News. "He exploited the wealth and power balance between them by offering his victims money to use drugs and to let Buck inject them with narcotics."
Prosecutors have said Buck solicited men to consume drugs and perform sexual acts at his home, where he then injected them with or without their consent. The government characterized Buck's motive as a sexual fetish, in which he paid Black men he met online to smoke and shoot methamphetamine, sometimes to the point of unconsciousness.
Ed Buck's Conviction came on 4-year Anniversary of Gemmel Moore's Death
Moore's mom said: "I just sleep the day away on the anniversary. I cry. And today, I had to get up and be here. Not just for Gemmel, but for Timothy Dean's family and all the other victims ... Thank you to everybody that believed us."
Social Media Reactions
Netizens were glad that the justice was finally being served to the victims and their families. One Twitter user wrote: "The sinister nature of Ed Buck's violence against these black men pushes me to a place beyond language. I want this man forever removed from his ability to hurt people."
Another wrote, "It's been heartbreaking to watch the friends of Gemmel Moore fight for justice over the years, only to see Timothy Dean killed the same way with no arrest made until another victim managed to survive and describe what Ed Buck did to him." Many described Buck as a notorious person and called the Ed Buck case as 'extremely disturbing'.
On the other hand, some are saying that there is a big difference between fund raising and donations and hence this crime should not be connected with the political party. One Twitter user wrote, "What does him being a democratic donor have to do with this?"