Ed Buck arrested after 3rd gay black man overdoses at his home

Ed Buck Arrested Gemmel Moore

Ed Buck, left, with Hillary Clinton at a fundraiser, has been arrested after a third gay black man overdosed at his home. Gemmel Moore, right, was the first victim who died from an accidental drug overdose in Buck’s West Hollywood apartment. Photo: Facebook.

Update: Ed Buck has been sentenced.

Democratic donor Ed Buck, who activists have said should be prosecuted in the overdose deaths of two gay black men at his West Hollywood home, was arrested Tuesday in connection with a third overdose, officials said.

‘Dangerous sexual predator’

In court documents, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office says that Buck, a well-known figure in LGBTQ  political circles, is “a violent, dangerous sexual predator. He mainly preys on men made vulnerable by addiction and homelessness.” 

The documents also say that Buck personally administered “dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims” and is “a predator with no regard for human life.”

Buck, 65, was charged Tuesday with operating a drug house and providing methamphetamine to a 37-year-old man who survived an overdose last week, according to a statement from the district attorney’s office.

When Buck refused to help the victim, he fled Buck’s and called 911 from a nearby gas station, according to the documents.

Ed Buck charged

Buck was charged with one felony count each of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house, according to court documents.

Buck is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.

Prosecutors will recommend bail be set at $4 million. If convicted as charged, Buck faces a possible maximum sentence of five years and eight months in state prison.

“With this new evidence, I authorized the filing of criminal charges against Ed Buck,” Jackie Lacey, Los Angeles County District Attorney, said in the statement.

2 overdose deaths

Lacey has been under intense criticism from activists who have been calling for Buck’s arrest. They believe he is responsible for the deaths of Gemmel Moore, 26, in 2017, and Timothy Dean, 55, earlier this year. Both gay black men were found dead in Buck’s West Hollywood’s apartment. The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled that both deaths were caused by methamphetamine overdoses.

Moore’s mother has filed a civil lawsuit against Buck for her son’s wrongful death. The suit also names Lacey for failing to prosecute the case.

Injecting drugs into victims

In the court documents, Lacey describes Buck as a “violent, dangerous, sexual predator” who prays on vulnerable gay black men. Buck uses narcotics, money and shelter as bait to lure his victims to his home.

“From his home, in a position of power, Buck manipulates his victims into participating in his sexual fetishes. These fetishes include supplying and personally administering dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims,” according to the documents.

She says that Buck’s “aggressive and malevolent behavior” lead to Moore and Dean’s fatal overdoses and almost a third death.

Buck’s “predatory acts and conscious disregard for human life must be stopped,” Lacey said.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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