Gavin Newsom Donor Ed Buck
2019-11-01 09:48:10 UTC
Federal prosecutors announced on Thursday that they have filed
charges against prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck in connection
with the 2017 death of Gemmel Moore at his West Hollywood
Buck, 65, has been charged with providing methamphetamine to a
victim who died after receiving the drug intravenously,
according to a news release from the U.S. Attorneys Office for
the Central District of California.
An affidavit outlines what U.S. District Attorney Nicola Hanna
described as a disturbing pattern in which he said Buck would
offer money and drugs in exchange for sex at his residence in
the 1200 block of Laurel Avenue.
The defendant is accused of providing the meth that resulted in
the overdose of Moore, who was 26 when he died on July 27, 2017.
His death was ruled an accidental methamphetamine overdose by
the Los Angeles County coroner's office.
The criminal complaint also alleges another man also died from a
drug overdose at Bucks apartment earlier this year.
Though neither the complaint nor federal officials identified
the victim, the date given -- Jan. 7 -- matches up to when 55-
year-old Timothy Dean suffered a fatal overdose at the residence.
No one called 911 until at least 15 minutes after Dean died,
according to the autopsy report. His death was ruled an
accident, and the cause was listed as methamphetamine and
Despite the second overdose death at his home, the political
activist continued soliciting men in exchange for sex.
Several months ago, during the investigation, personnel from the
Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department located a homeless man
in a West Hollywood park who told them he had two encounters
with Buck, including one where he lost consciousness after being
injected with meth, according to Hanna.
The victim told investigators he heard about Buck from other
men, who said they referred to Buck as Dr. Kevorkian because
he was well known for compensating male prostitutes with drug
and money, Hanna said.
There are 10 other victims in the federal case, including nine
who told investigators that Buck gave them narcotics or
encouraged them to inject drugs as part of an agreed upon
compensation for sexual services, according to Hanna.
The last victim was a 37-year-old man who overdosed at his
apartment twice, once on Sept. 4 and again on Sept. 11, the
federal complaint stated.
The victim had been living with Buck until earlier this month,
and alleged he had been injected with meth daily, according to
Hanna. He overdosed twice, resulting in two hospitalizations,
Buck was arrested and charged Tuesday, six days after the
victims second overdose, authorities said.
Activists had been calling for Buck's arrest and prosecution in
connection with the deaths of Moore and Dean long before the
prominent donor was taken into custody.
Local prosecutors had previously cited insufficient evidence to
file charges against Buck.
Now the DA's office is pursuing charges against Buck including
battery, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug
In the filing from Tuesday, prosecutors depicted him as a
"violent, dangerous sexual predator. They allege he used drugs,
money, and shelter as bait to lure men struggling with addiction
and homelessness into his apartment, where he "manipulates them
into participating in his sexual fetishes," according to court
If convicted on the original charges, Buck would have faced up
to five years and eight months in state prison.
But local and federal officials worked together to build a
tougher case, which could result in Buck potentially spending
the rest of his life behind bars if he's convicted on the latest
Under state law, we determined there was insufficient
admissible evidence to hold him responsible for the deaths of
Mr. Moore and Mr. Dean," L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey
explained at the news conference. Ultimately, we arrived at the
conclusion that there were more options under federal law that
can carry a lengthier prison sentence.
The federal charges carry a minimum mandatory sentence of 20
years in prison, and a maximum sentence of life in prison
without the possibility of parole, according to Hanna.
Buck appeared in Los Angeles County Superior Court in downtown
L.A. Thursday. Later in the afternoon, he appeared in U.S.
District Court but was not asked to enter a plea in regards to
the federal charges, according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for
the U.S. Attorneys Office in California.
Prosecutors planned to ask that the defendant be held without
bond pending trial because they believe he poses a significant
risk to public safety, according to Hanna.
In the local case, Buck was being held on $4 million bail.
However, he has been transferred into federal custody.
Mrozek said Buck would be held in custody until his next
appearance in federal court scheduled for Sept. 26 after no
determination on bond was made Thursday.
Meanwhile, he has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 3 and
his arraignment in L.A. County was postponed until Oct. 11.
KTLA's Jennifer Thang and Marissa Wenzke contributed to this
Correction: A previous version of this article gave an incorrect
age for Moore. This post has been updated.
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