Prominent Democrat megadonor Ed Buck was convicted Tuesday of causing two deaths when he injected black men with methamphetamine in exchange for sex.
“In a gruesome case of an older white man using his power and money to exploit the poverty and drug addiction of younger Black men, the jury found Buck guilty of every charge in a nine-count indictment,” reported The Los Angeles Times. “Among them were maintaining a drug den, distribution of methamphetamine and enticement to cross state lines to engage in prostitution.”
The two meth-related charges alone carry a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison, which would likely mean the 66-year-old Buck will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
The men involved in the conviction were Gemmel Moore, 26, who died in July 2017, and Timothy Dean, 55, who died in January 2019.
Buck was arrested and charged in September 2019 with operating a drug house after a third black man nearly died of an overdose on methamphetamines he received from Buck.
“The verdict concluded a two-week trial that featured harrowing testimony by men hired by Buck to show off their bodies in underwear and get high on crystal meth and the party drug GHB. Excerpts from Buck’s hundreds of graphic videos and photos of the drugs-and-sex sessions left spectators wincing at the trial,” per The Los Angeles Times.
“Ed Buck will never harm anyone else, and I thank God for that,” said Joyce Jackson, who with her sister Joann Campbell flew to L.A. from Tampa, FL, to join their brother Timothy Dean’s tight circle of friends at the trial.
“Our lives matter, our community matters, and just because someone is unhoused, an addict, may be a survival sex worker, or an escort, or HIV positive does not mean their lives don’t matter and we should look the other way when they show up dead in a white Democratic donor’s home.”
Buck was a prominent donor to Democrats. As The Los Angeles Times reported:
Since the mid 2000s, Buck has given more than $500,000 to political candidates and causes, almost all of them linked to the Democratic Party. Forty politicians now holding office in California, ranging from Los Angeles City Hall to Congress, have cashed a check from Buck.
Current officeholders have received more than $150,000 from Buck, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and U.S. Reps. Ted Lieu and Adam B. Schiff. Some have returned the money.
At the time of Buck’s arrest in 2019, The Los Angeles Times wrote that “Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon of Texas, had questioned whether Buck’s ties to elected officials and differences in race and class influenced the investigation. Buck, who is 63 and white, is a longtime political donor, onetime West Hollywood City Council candidate and a well-known figure in LGBTQ political circles. Moore had been homeless and had worked as an escort.”