'I assumed he was on something’: Democratic donor Ed Buck’s neighbors say things were seriously weird at his alleged meth house

Sam Slovick
ed buck los angeles california

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images


  • Ed Buck was arrested on Tuesday following an investigation into a non-fatal methamphetamine overdose at his address last week. 
  • Buck is a prominent Democratic donor and West Hollywood activist,
  • On Thursday, Buck was also federally charged with distributing methamphetamines in connection to the death of another man — Gemmel Moore — in 2017.
  • Neighbors spoke to Insider about living across the street from Buck's alleged meth house. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories

News vans were still parked on the 1200 block of Laurel Canyon Blvd. the day after the high profile arrest of West Hollywood activist and Democratic donor Ed Buck on Tuesday.

"That's what we're famous for now. We're the Ed Buck block," neighbor, Lindsay Cerny told Insider. She was walking her dogs on Tuesday evening when law enforcement raided Buck's apartment and charged him with operating a drug den after a man overdosed in his home. 

"They came out in their camo and looked at us like we were ghosts. You could see it was gonna be serious," Cerny continued. Cerny, a medical device salesperson who describes the neighborhood as "pretty safe," says she knows all the neighbors and is well aware of Buck, a major donor in California politics and fixture in West Hollywood.

This is not the first time Buck and his West Hollywood home have come under scrutiny. In 2017, Gemmel Moore died of a meth overdose at the address, and in January of this year, Timothy Dean overdosed at the same location. Following their deaths, Buck was accused by both Moore's mother, and Black Lives Matter protesters, of targeting black gay men.

This week he is accused of injecting methamphetamine into another person, a 37-year-old man, who survived an overdosed at the same apartment on September 11, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Read more: Tennessee police department warns flushing drugs down the toilet could create 'meth-gators'

Mike (last name withheld), a 35-year-old Australian, and his girlfriend have been living directly across from Ed Buck's apartment for five years.

"It's not a nice feeling knowing that there's a drug den across the street from you and nothing is being done about it. Knowing that two people died and seeing him every day just walking around," he said. 

Mike remembers Buck as confrontational.

"We used to park our van out here in the street, and he used to hate that, and he was very aggressive. He'd come up to us and grab the car door and shake it and stuff like that. I assumed he was on something."

Mike said he often saw a blue light emanating from the apartment windows across the street where Buck lived.

"The windows were always taped up," he said. "For the last five years, they've never been open, apart from a little crack at the top with the blue light coming out."  

Missy, another neighbor in the same building directly across from Bucks apartment, was aware of Buck's activities and had been having an ongoing conversation with her 17-year-old daughter about them.

"She was more confused than anything, about why something felt they needed to push themselves and their wants onto other people and harm them. She didn't get that. I'm honest with her. I tell her that there are people in the world who aren't good and you need to protect yourself." 

Other neighbors were less concerned with Buck's habits.

John Russett, a teacher who works with deaf children, lives in a small apartment kitty-corner from Ed Buck's home. He has known Buck casually for years and says he was not shocked by what was played out in the apartment across the street.

"The guys who went in with him, the black guys, they know who he is. I was surprised because he usually goes with white guys," Russett says. "But the guys who died, the black guys, they could have said I don't want it. They were all big and tall. Bigger than Buck. They could have said no. They were adults."

Russett says that though he found Buck creepy, it wasn't an issue. "He didn't bother me. He was always nice to me. I just close my mind and stay home and don't worry about it."

On Thursday, Buck was federally charged with distributing methamphetamine in connection to the death of Gemmel Moore. Buck has denied any wrongdoing.