Democratic Mega-Donor Ed Buck Indicted in Two Overdose Deaths

Mairead McArdle

Democratic donor Ed Buck was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday for the death of the second man who overdosed at his West Hollywood apartment.

According to the indictment, Buck, 65, provided methamphetamine to Timothy Dean, 55, which Dean fatally overdosed on in January. Dean was found with copious amounts of alcohol in his system as well as devices attached to his genitals.

Last month, Buck was hit with the same charge in connection with the death of Gemmel Moore, 26, who fatally overdosed at Buck’s apartment in 2017.

The grand jury said Buck engaged in a pattern of soliciting men to take drugs that he provided and to perform sexual acts at his apartment, often targeting the most vulnerable men, who he coerced into taking large quantities of drugs with the promise of payment. He found his victims through social media, a recruiter, and various other means and solicited them for what he called “party and play” sessions, during which Buck sometimes himself injected victims with drugs without their consent.

“Buck exerted power over his victims, often targeting vulnerable individuals who were destitute, homeless, and/or struggled with drug addiction, in order to exploit the relative wealth and power imbalance between them,” the indictment reads.

The charges relating to the two deaths carry a sentence of life in prison without parole. Buck was also charged Wednesday on three additional counts of distributing methamphetamine.

The millionaire Democratic fundraiser and LGBT activist was arrested in September and is in federal custody. Prosecutors believe he victimized at least 11 people in the past two years, most of whom were black, including both of the men who died.

Buck is a “serious threat to public safety,” U.S. Attorney Nicola T. Hanna said.

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