Democratic Donor to Be Charged in OD Death: Official

Two men died at Ed Buck's West Hollywood apartment over a 2-year period
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 19, 2019 3:47 PM CDT
Dem Donor Will Reportedly Be Charged in One OD Death
This Jan. 8, 2019 file photo shows the building housing the apartment of Ed Buck in West Hollywood, Calif., following the death of a man the previous day.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Political activist and well-known Democratic donor Ed Buck will face a federal charge connected to an overdose death at his Los Angeles-area home, a law enforcement official said Thursday. Buck, 65, will be charged with distributing methamphetamine resulting in the death of Gemmel Moore, according to the official with knowledge of the investigation. The official wasn't authorized to speak publicly and insisted on anonymity, the AP reports. Moore, 26, died in 2017 at a West Hollywood home belonging to Buck, a gay activist. Another man, Timothy Dean, 55, died of an overdose there in January. Messages to Buck's attorney, Seymour Amster, were not immediately returned. State prosecutors charged the wealthy and influential Democratic donor this week with causing the overdose of a third man who escaped from his home this month.

In court documents, authorities said Buck used his position of power to manipulate male victims into participating in sexual fetishes that involved injecting them with methamphetamine, adding that he "has no regard for human life." Buck appeared in court on the state charges Thursday, and his arraignment was postponed until next month. He was held on $4 million bail. Moore's mother, LaTisha Nixon, "is relieved that Ed Buck is no longer on the streets and free to continue harming black men," her lawyer, Hussain Turk, said Wednesday. Buck has donated tens of thousands of dollars to California candidates, including Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, and is well known in LGBTQ political circles. (Much more on the case and its background here.)

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