"reprehensible"

Ed Buck gets 30 years in prison for drug-related killings of gay men

Ed Buck at his trial in 2021
Ed Buck at his trial in 2021 (Photo: YouTube)

The former businessman and political donor Ed Buck, 67, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

He was found guilty last July on nine counts of supplying and injecting gay men with methamphetamine in exchange for sex, leading to two deaths and other overdoses.

During yesterday’s sentencing hearing, Buck appealed for leniency. He offered his “condolences” to the families of his victims but again denied he was the cause of their death, according to the Los Angeles Times.

​​”These were men I cared for and loved. I would never do them harm,” he said. “Their deaths were a tragedy – but I did not cause their deaths.

“I would like to go back and change things, and if I could I would.”

Buck asked U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder to “take a look at my life in total,” including his philanthropic work raising money for AIDS-related causes and animal welfare, and not “the horrible caricature the government painted me as — a meth-fueled ax killer.”

Related: Ed Buck found guilty over fatal meth overdoses of two men at his home

During his trial, the court heard Buck had a fetish for injecting men—usually Black men—with meth, sometimes when they were unconscious. He often preyed on vulnerable individuals, offering them money in exchange for doing as he wished with them.

Buck’s arrest came following the deaths of two men. Gemmel Moore, 26, was found dead of an overdose in Buck’s West Hollywood apartment in 2017. Then, 18 months later, Timothy Dean, 55, also died after an overdose while in Buck’s home.

Moore had left a diary in which he said Buck, who is gay, had a fetish for injecting him with meth and had got him addicted. As police investigated the deaths, other men came forward to say that they too had been injected by Buck and had overdosed but survived.

The families of the dead men and other campaigners called for Buck’s arrest, questioning why a wealthy White man was not being held accountable following the deaths of two Black men in his residence. They believed racial bias and Buck’s political donations were a factor in him not being charged.

Buck was finally arrested in September 2019, after another near-death overdose of a man who had been visiting him. Fortunately, that individual was able to escape and alert authorities to what happened.

During his trial, prosecutors said Buck, who had donated around $500,000 to mostly Democratic campaigns and causes since 2000, collected video clips of himself engaged in sexual activities with other men. The prosecution said that of 2,400 videos, more than 1,500 contained drug use.

Related: Hollywood couple donate $250k to help gay men in LA tackle their meth use

At Buck’s sentencing yesterday, the families of those killed implored the judge to hand down a life sentence. Gemmel Moore’s mother, Nixon, told the court, “This man killed my son – Judge Snyder, please give this man the longest sentence allowed by law.”

“I warned him to stay away from Buck – now all I have is memories and his ashes.”

Judge Snyder said the case was “one of the most difficult and tragic” she had presided over. “What happened here is reprehensible conduct. All lives matter.”

With good behavior, Buck could be out after serving 85% of his 30-year-sentence. Buck indicated to the court that whatever sentence he was given, he planned to appeal.