A grand jury has indicted former political donor and LGBTQ rights activist Ed Buck with four new felony counts in connection with the deaths of two Black men. The new indictments follow previous grand jury charges from last October, bringing the total number of charges to nine.
Police arrested Buck last September following the death of Timothy Dean, a 55-year-old Black man in his home in January 2019. Dean had overdosed on methamphetamine. It was not the first time a man had died in Buck’s home. In 2017, a 26-year-old Black man, Gemmel Moore, died of a methamphetamine overdose in Buck’s West Hollywood home as well.
Following his 2019 arrest, law enforcement accused Ed Buck of running a drug den out of his home, and of purposely luring black men there for sex. Activists have criticized the response by police and the Los Angeles County District Attorney for not arresting Buck following Moore’s death in 2017. Critics allege that Buck used his political connections to dodge criminal charges.
Now, however, it appears Buck has exhausted his clout. “A federal grand jury today returned a superseding indictment charging Edward Buck with four additional felonies, including that he allegedly enticed victims – including a man who died at his West Hollywood apartment after he administered drugs to him – to travel interstate to engage in prostitution,” the Department of Justice wrote in a statement.
“The four additional counts charged today – bringing the total number of charges in this case to nine counts – include one count alleging that Buck knowingly enticed 26-year-old Gemmel Moore to travel to the Los Angeles area to engage in prostitution,” the statement continues. “Buck allegedly provided methamphetamine to Moore, who overdosed on the drug and died on July 27, 2017. Buck also is charged with another count of enticing another man to travel with the intent of engaging in prostitution.”
“The superseding indictment also charges Buck with one count of knowingly and intentionally distributing methamphetamine, and one count of using his residence for the purpose of distributing narcotics such as methamphetamine, and the sedatives gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and clonazepam,” the Department of Justice continues.
The previous five indictments also allege that Buck would solicit Black men for sex and use of methamphetamine using social media, dating sites and intermediaries. He would then inject the men–with or without consent, and occasionally while his victim was unconscious–with methamphetamine and additional narcotics.
Buck’s trial is slated to begin in January 2021. If convicted, Buck could spend the rest of his life in prison.