California political donor indicted for 2 overdose deaths at his home

California political donor indicted for 2 overdose deaths at his home

A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted Democratic donor Ed Buck in the deaths of two black men who overdosed in his home in West Hollywood, according to The Associated Press

The indictment, issued Wednesday in U.S. District Court, charges Buck with distributing methamphetamine that led to the deaths of Gemmel Moore in 2017 and Timothy Dean in January. Buck is also charged with distributing the drug to three more men, one of whom also overdosed nonfatally.


Prosecutors claim Buck deliberately targeted young gay men in the West Hollywood area, taking advantage of homeless people and addicts in particular, and coerced them into allowing him to inject them with drugs, according to the AP.

Buck was arrested in September after local activists extensively criticized local authorities for failing to take action after the earlier deaths.

A judge last week granted prosecutors’ request to keep Buck in federal custody, according to City News Service. “I don’t see anything that would alleviate danger” of allowing Buck to remain free while he awaited trial, U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick J. Walsh said on Sept. 26.

Buck is also facing separate state charges of running a drug den but his federal case will be heard first. He is due back in federal court for arraignment Oct. 10. Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement in September that she remains "deeply concerned for the safety of people whose life circumstances may make them more vulnerable to criminal predators."

Several Democrats have donated or returned contributions from Buck, who has made donations to former President Obama, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton3 ways government can help clean up Twitter Intelligence Democrat: Stop using 'quid pro quo' to describe Trump allegations The Memo: Bloomberg's 2020 moves draw ire from Democrats MORE and Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin Christopher NewsomIntercollegiate athletics just got a two-minute warning Legacy of California's Prop. 187 foreshadows GOP's path ahead ICE ignores ban in California on private immigrant detention centers: report MORE (D).