Ed Buck, a California political donor to the Democratic Party, was found guilty by a federal grand jury on charges that included providing methamphetamine, resulting in the overdose deaths of two men.
The high profile 66-year-old was on trial in Los Angeles on Tuesday and was found guilty of all nine felony counts, including two counts of distribution of controlled substances that resulted in death. Each of the two counts carries a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The two deaths involved Gemmel Moore, who died at the age of 26 in Buck’s West Hollywood apartment in July 2017, and Timothy Dean, who was 55 years old when he was found dead by overdose in the same apartment in January 2019.
A third man overdosed at the apartment in September 2019 and nearly died, but he managed to escape and called the authorities, resulting in Buck’s arrest.
Buck has donated $53,000 to Democratic candidates since 2008, according to federal election records. He donated to former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for their campaigns. Other recipients included House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.).
Buck had pleaded not guilty to all of the nine felony counts. The jury deliberated for more than four hours after a two-week trial. The guilty verdict on all nine felony counts could lead to a life sentence.
The verdict came exactly four years after Moore’s death. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.
“Today is bittersweet,” LaTisha Nixon, Moore’s mother, said after the verdict. “We got victory today.”
Prosecutors previously said that Buck had lured Moore, who was homeless, to Los Angeles “with the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.”
A grand jury in October 2019 returned a five-count indictment charging Buck with distribution of meth. The indictment alleged that Buck “engaged in a pattern of soliciting men to consume drugs that Buck provided and perform sexual acts at Buck’s apartment.”
It also alleged that Buck had prepared syringes containing meth and sometimes injected his victims without their consent, including sometimes injecting them while they were unconscious.
“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 alleged.
Four additional counts that were later dealt in August 2020 in a superseding indictment included two counts of enticing victims to travel interstate to engage in prostitution. The other two counts involved knowingly distributing methamphetamine and using his residence as a drug den.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times