Democratic donor Ed Buck convicted of providing fatal meth doses to 2 men

·2 min read

Ed Buck, a wealthy Democratic donor, was convicted Tuesday of charges related to the supply of fatal methamphetamine doses to two men at his West Hollywood apartment.

Driving the news: A federal jury found the prominent 66-year-old political activist guilty of all nine felony counts over the deaths. Prosecutors made the case of "an older white man using his power and money to exploit the poverty and drug addiction" of younger, gay Black men, per the Los Angeles Times.

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  • "Buck exerted power and control over his victims, typically targeting individuals who were destitute, homeless or struggling with drug addiction," the Justice Department said in a statement.

  • "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," the statement added.

Of note: Buck's conviction occurred exactly four years on from when Gemmel Moore, one of his victims, was found dead from an overdose at his home.

  • Timothy Dean was found dead at the same apartment in January 2019.

The big picture: The deaths of the two Black men were originally ruled accidental, but dozens of LGBTQ and civil rights groups urged police to investigate allegations that Buck had a history of bringing gay black men to his apartment to inject them with crystal meth for sexual gratification.

  • Buck, a one-time candidate for West Hollywood City Council, was arrested after Dane Brown survived an overdose in his apartment in September 2019. Brown testified during the trial that Buck "injected him with meth nearly daily for five weeks," per AP.

What to watch: Buck could face life in prison after the guilty finding of two counts of distribution of methamphetamine resulting in death, four distribution of methamphetamine, one of maintaining a drug-involved premises, and two of enticement to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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