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Ed Buck found guilty in supplying drugs that lead to deaths of 2 Black men

Ed Buck Guilty

Ed Buck (center), a one-time celebrated and sought-after donor to the Democratic candidates and elected officials in California, was found guilty Tuesday of nine felonies, including two counts of distribution of controlled substances resulting in death. One count for the 2017 death of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore (left) and one for the death of 55-year-old Timothy Dean (right) in 2019. Photos: Facebook

Ed Buck, a disgraced former mover-and-shaker in West Hollywood and Los Angeles politics, was found guilty of supplying the methamphetamine that killed two Black men during a “party-and-play” fetish encounters Buck hosted at his apartment.

After approximately four hours of deliberations in a downtown Los Angeles court, the jury found Buck guilty of all nine felonies in an indictment that also accused him of maintaining a drug den, distributing methamphetamine, and enticement to cross state lines to engage in prostitution.

As a result, Buck could spend the rest of his life in prison. The convictions for supplying the meth that resulted in the death of Gemmel Moore, 26, and Timothy Dean, 55, each carry a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. His sentencing will take place at a later date.

The verdict came four years to the day after Moore was found dead of a meth overdose in Buck’s West Hollywood apartment.

Moore left detailed diaries and told people that Buck hooked him on drugs, provided him with drugs, and enjoyed watching him inject meth to the point

The verdict followed a two-week trial with distressing testimony by Black men hired by Buck to expose their underwear-clad bodies and get high on crystal meth and GHB.

As evidence, prosecutors had tens of thousands of texts, voice mails, and videos that showed Buck’s drug use and fetish for injecting Black men with crystal meth and having sex with them. Often, many of the victims were too high to consent.

Activist Jasmyne Cannick, who led the change to convict Buck since Moore’s death four years ago, was in court everyday and chronicled the proceedings on her website Justice 4 Gemmel.

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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