After seemingly escaping any consequences for the overdose deaths of two gay Black men in his West Hollywood apartment, Ed Buck is now facing federal charges that could put him behind bars for decades.
Buck, a longtime donor and political activist in Arizona and California, was indicted Wednesday by a grand jury, charged with providing drugs that led to the deaths of Gemmel Moore (pictured above, left) and Timothy Dean (right). He was also accused of furnishing drugs to three other men. Prosecutors say the 65-year-old targeted "vulnerable individuals who were destitute, homeless, and/or struggled with drug addiction, in order to exploit the relative wealth and power imbalance between them."
Moore, 26, was found dead July 2017 in Buck's apartment. Even though Moore's diary indicated the older man injected him with meth and got him hooked on the drug, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey declined to file charges against Buck, citing a lack of evidence. Activists like Jasmyne Cannick loudly demanded justice for Moore, whose body was found surrounded by drug paraphernalia. Cannick's warnings rung true when another body was later found in Buck's apartment — that of 55-year-old Timothy Dean. The Saks Fifth Avenue employee died of a meth overdose at Buck's rent-controlled apartment in January.
Even after Moore and Dean's deaths, Buck continued injecting vulnerable men with meth as part of his sexual gratification, according to the indictment. Three other men were drugged — in May 2018, December 2018, and just this month — according to the charges. The most recent instance resulted in the overdose of an unnamed man, who survived and went to police. The L.A. County Sheriffs Department arrested Buck, and the U.S. Attorney's Office soon took over the case, bringing federal charges. If convicted, Buck faces at least 20 years in prison.
The indictment says Buck would personally inject the victims "with and without their consent." Prosecutors say "Buck pressured, coerced, and/or incentivized his victims to consume drugs, sometimes offering a premium payment to victims who would consume more drugs, try new drugs, or let Buck inject them with drugs. In some instances, Buck injected his victims with larger quantities of drugs than they agreed to receive, and in other instances, Buck injected his victims while they were unconscious."
Buck, currently in jail, was evicted from his apartment last week.