Dem Megadonor Ed Buck Convicted on 2 Counts of Murder, 7 Counts of Narcotics Distribution

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File

This was a tragedy from the word jump. The only reason Ed Buck and his crimes were ignored for so long was that he donated large sums of money to Democrats, and his victims were marginalized and minority gay men. Buck survived being offed while awaiting trial, and after four and a half hours of jury deliberation, he was found guilty on all 9 counts lodged against him.

The families of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean finally have received justice.

From Local CBS 2:

Former political donor Ed Buck was convicted Tuesday of a series of federal charges, including providing methamphetamine to two men who died in his West Hollywood apartment.

The 66-year-old was convicted of all nine counts he was facing. Jurors deliberated for just four and a half hours before reaching their verdict.

Buck was convicted of two counts of distributing methamphetamine that resulted in the deaths of 55-year-old Timothy Dean in January of 2019, and 26-year-old Gemmel Moore in July 2017.

Each of the two charges of distribution of controlled substances resulting in death carry 20-year mandatory minimums.

He also faced state charges of running a drug den, but the federal case is proceeding first.

Buck was flamboyantly gay and a progressive Democrat. According to this 2019 Los Angeles Times article, Buck funded many of California’s local and national politicians and was a major funder for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Since the mid 2000s, Buck has given more than $500,000 to political candidates and causes, almost all of them linked to the Democratic Party. Forty politicians now holding office in California, ranging from Los Angeles City Hall to Congress, have cashed a check from Buck.

Current officeholders have received more than $150,000 from Buck, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and U.S. Reps. Ted Lieu and Adam B. Schiff. Some have returned the money.

Also on that list: former California Attorney General and current Biden administration Health and Human Services Director Xavier Becerra. Buck ensured that he ran in the right circles, and this community circled the wagons to cover for his wicked crimes.

Buck would seek out Black young men on the margins for “party and play” sessions. Buck would get these men high on methamphetamine, have sex with them, and send them on their way. Both victims: Gemmel Moore in 2017, and Timothy Dean in 2019 were found dead in Buck’s West Hollywood apartment. Each time, Buck was supposedly investigated, but never charged with a crime.

Another L.A. Times article from last week referenced the video evidence in the trial that documents what he did to his victims:

The sordid details of what took place in the apartment are laid bare in hundreds of videos and photos Buck took of the men smoking or injecting meth naked or in the white underwear that he had them try on for his pleasure.

Videos shown at the trial are so graphic that U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder urged prosecutors to be careful how aggressively they present evidence that could traumatize jurors.

“It may well be that we offer counseling to them at the end of the case,” she said.

Buck, 66, whose trial began last week, is charged with supplying the methamphetamine that killed Gemmel Moore, 26, and Timothy Dean, 55. Both were Black men who died of overdoses in Buck’s apartment. Buck is also charged with enticement to travel for prostitution, distribution of methamphetamine and maintaining a drug den. He has pleaded not guilty.

The 2,400 videos found on Buck’s computers and phones which included 1,500 videos that showed the details of his party and play sessions were crucial in nailing him on all the counts.

Investigative journalist and advocate Jasmyn Cannick was the first to expose Buck after the death of Gemmel Moore in 2017. Her coverage of both the deaths of Moore and Dean helped to uncover the failings of the West Hollywood and Los Angeles Police Departments, as well as then-Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey.

Cannick’s stories also helped to spark outrage in the gay and Black communities. Only after a third Black man almost died of an overdose in Buck’s home in 2019 was any concrete action taken.

It was only in September 2019, after a third Black man nearly died of an overdose, that Buck was arrested — a delay that fueled angry protests by activists who accused law enforcement officials of failing to aggressively investigate a politically influential white man. Buck, a onetime candidate for West Hollywood’s City Council, made more than $500,000 in campaign donations over the last couple of decades, nearly all of it to Democrats.

CBS2 explained:

At the time, then L.A. County DA Jackie Lacey explained that local authorities determined that there was not enough evidence under state law to charge Buck in the deaths of Dean and Moore. However, under federal law, they had more legal options. He was indicted in October of 2019 by a federal grand jury in the deaths of Dean and Moore.

Cannick covered every day of the trial on her blog, and tweeted a celebratory tweet over the verdict, condemning Jackie Lacey, and taking a dig at Christopher Darden, the former O.J. Simpson prosecutor who represented Ed Buck at the trial.