By: Alyssa Wilson
Ed Buck, a former political donor, was found guilty on a series of federal charges Tuesday, including providing methamphetamine to two men who died in his apartment.
According to CBSN Los Angeles, jurors in the trial deliberated for four and a half hours before finding the 66-year-old guilty of all nine counts he was facing.
Two of the counts were for distributing methamphetamine that resulted in the deaths of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore in 2017 and 55-year-old Timothy Dean in 2019. These charges of distribution of controlled substances resulting in death each carry a 20-year mandatory minimum.
Buck was also found guilty on two counts of enticing someone to travel with the intent to engage in prostitution, one count of knowingly and intentionally distributing methamphetamine and one count of using an apartment for the purpose of distributing narcotics.
The trial memorandum alleges Buck lured vulnerable men, including those who were homeless, gay, addicted to drugs, or working as escorts, to his apartment. There, he gave them drugs in exchange for sexual activity.
At his apartment, he “prepared methamphetamine syringes in a ritualistic fashion; some victims report that he required them to watch him do it,” the trial memo said. It also described his sessions with men as “party and play” where he paid the men he solicited from online gay dating and escort sites to perform sexual acts.
Buck was first arrested in September 2019 when he was brought up on separate charges by the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office. There was not enough evidence at the time to charge him under state law, but there were more options under federal law. In October of that year, a federal grand jury indicted him in the deaths of Dean and Moore.
Dean’s sister Joyce Jackson spoke to the media after the conviction and said, “Finally, Ed Buck will never harm anyone else, and I thank God for that.” Chelsea Norrell, a prosecutor in the case, said, “It was a tremendous honor to be able to vindicate the rights of the victims in this case and Lindsey and I are absolutely thrilled that justice was served today in a sweeping guilty verdict.”
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