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Ed Buck Sentenced to Decades in Prison Over Deaths of Gay Black Men

Ed Buck in court

Buck had previously been found guilty on charges that he provided drugs to men in exchange for sex, leading to two overdose deaths. 

Democratic Party donor Ed Buck was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Thursday for sex and drug crimes that led to the deaths of two gay Black men.

Buck had been a mainstay in the Hollywood political scene and had raised money for charities looking to combat the HIV epidemic to organizations looking to ban fur, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Last year, Buck was convicted after four hours of deliberations on all nine charges brought against him, including maintaining a drug den, distributing methamphetamine, enticement to cross state lines to engage in sex work, and providing the drugs that led to the deaths of Gemmel Moore, 26, and Timothy Dean, 55.

Prosecutors had tens of thousands of texts, voice mails, and videos that laid out Buck's rampant drug use and his fetish for injecting Black men with hard drugs and then having sex with them, often when they were too high to consent. Some of Buck's victims -- several of whom were homeless and just looking for a place to sleep for the night -- wept on the witness stand and told the jury how Buck would also inject them without their approval, including when they were already unconscious. Buck's racism was also on display to the jury with witnesses recounting his use of slurs and Blackface-type masks.

Leading up to Thursday's sentencing hearing at the L.A. federal courthouse, Buck's lawyers had requested that the 67-year-old receive a sentence that would one day have Buck leave prison and return to society, according to the Times. However, prosecutors had urged U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder to sentence Buck to life for his crimes.

"If Buck were ever released," they wrote, "he would feed his compulsion to inject others until the day he died."

Assistant U.S. attorney Chelsea Norell told the court, "One death is a tragedy, but two is a pattern."

Before his sentencing, Buck said, "I ask that the court take a look at my life in total," he said, and not "the horrible caricature the government painted me as: a meth-fueled axe killer."

Buck had requested some of the charges be dropped, but the court denied his request earlier this month.

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