The prominent California-based Democratic donor Ed Buck has been arrested after the third overdose of a gay man at his home. The Los Angeles County district attorney has charged him with maintaining a drug house, administering methamphetamine, and battery causing serious injury. The charges are based on a man being found in his home, having overdosed on the drug.
Buck is accused of having injected the victim, who survived. But there have been two cases of Black men found in Buck’s home, both having overdosed. The identity and race of the third victim have not been released.
Gemmel Moore was 26 when he died in Buck’s apartment in July 2017. After his death, the personal journal he wrote became public. “I honestly don’t know what to do. I’ve become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that,” he wrote in a December 2016 entry. “Ed Buck is the one to thank. He gave me my first injection of crystal meth it was very painful, but after all the troubles, I became addicted to the pain and fetish/fantasy.” Since the entries went public, other gay Black men came forward and said they had similar experiences.
Prosecutors declined to prosecute this case. Moore’s mother has filed a wrongful-death suit against Buck.
Since then, Timothy Dean was also found dead, of an overdose, in the donor’s residence. That death occured in January 2019. At the time, the Sheriff's Department commented on the pattern.
“It is suspicious that this has happened twice now, so we’re going to conduct a thorough investigation to determine if it is criminal in nature,” Lieutenant Derrick Alfred of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told KTLA-TV in January.
There have been protests (some held outside of Buck's home) and multiple demands for prosecution that, until now, have mostly gone unanswered.
According to ABC, prosecutors are now seeking $4 million bail and Buck faces a possible maximum sentence of five years and eight months in state prison.