Former West Hollywood resident, and Democratic political donor, Ed Buck was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison today for supplying drugs to two men who overdosed in his West Hollywood apartment on Laurel Avenue.
After a six-hour deliberation on July 27, 2021, a jury found Ed Buck, 67, guilty of all nine felony counts against him, including two for distribution of controlled substances resulting in the deaths of Gemmel Moore, 26, who died on July 27, 2017, and Timothy Dean, 55, who died on January 7, 2019.
Federal prosecutors said he lured young Black men who were often experiencing homelessness, addiction, and/or poverty to his apartment for sexually charged sessions in which he would inject them with methamphetamine and drug them with sedatives, with and without their consent.
Buck was additionally convicted in enticing Moore and another man to travel to Los Angeles to engage in prostitution; knowingly and intentionally distributing methamphetamine and using his West Hollywood apartment to distributing narcotics such as methamphetamine, and the sedatives gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and clonazepam.
Buck pleaded not guilty to all the charges, but he did not take the stand in his defense.
The many facts that came out during the trial include:
- Police seized 2,400 videos from Buck’s apartment and icloud account. These videos documented his many sex and drug exploits. Approximately 1,500 of the videos show drug use.
- Some of the videos show Buck injecting crystal meth into men’s arms with a needle and syringe. Often times, the men were unconscious when Buck injected them.
- Buck liked his sex partners to wear white compression underwear to show off their bodies and genitals. Some videos show Buck blowing meth smoke into a tube connected to the men’s underwear.
- One video reportedly shows Buck tightly tying dozens of socks around a man’s penis. When the man says it is too tight, Buck refuses to loosen it.
- One of Buck’s drug dealers (who had immunity) testified Buck initially started buying seven grams of crystal meth at a time (costing $100), but gradually increased his purchases to 14 grams at a time and sometime even bought 28 grams at a time.
- At one point, Buck purchased 10 ounces of Ketamine, a mild anesthetic that produces a trance-like state.
- Eight different men who engaged in “party and play” with Buck testified at the trial. Each testified to various sexual and drug activities they engaged in with Buck, many confirming information others testified to.
- One man who testified was homeless and said Buck allowed him to move in with him but never gave him a key to the apartment. In return, he was supposed to help around the house and be willing to be injected with meth and take GHB (Gamma Hydroxybutyrate, a depressant commonly known as a “date rape” drug) whenever Buck wanted him to.
- Buck kept a chainsaw in his apartment and one man testified Buck approached him with it while it was running.
- A neighbor testified Buck had work done to soundproof the walls and windows of his apartment.
- Several neighbors testified seeing various Black men coming to Buck’s apartment over the years. They usually arrived between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.
- Phone and text records indicate Buck waited two weeks after Gemmel Moore’s death before he hired an escort or invited a man over for “party and play.” But once he started having men over again, he had six in the next ten days.
- Right after Timothy Dean’s death, Buck tried to clean up the apartment before calling 911. Police found towels covered in fresh vomit.
- Before calling 911 about Timothy Dean, Buck hid a box containing 13 meth pipes and 9 syringes on the ledge outside his bathroom window. However, police found it. The syringes and pipes had DNA from both Buck and Dean on it.
- Phone records indicate around the time of Timothy Dean’s death, Buck made four phone calls before calling 911. One of those calls was to his then lawyer, Seymour Amster. Another of the calls was to then West Hollywood City Councilmember John Duran. No information on the duration of the calls.
Buck’s attorneys, Christopher Darden and Ludlow Creary II tried to discredit the evidence by presenting Latisha Nixon, Gemmel Moore’s mother, as a bad mother who did not care for her son because he was gay and suggested that she was after Buck’s money via an ongoing wrongful death lawsuit.
Creary told the jury that Ed Buck’s alleged victims who testified went to his apartment voluntarily to do drugs and engage in Party and Play (widely known as PNP).
The defense also tried to cast doubt on whether the drugs caused the deaths, contending that underlying health conditions were the reason Gemmel Moore (who was HIV positive) and Timothy Dean (who had a heart condition) died.
The Los Angeles Time reports that in the lead-up to Thursday’s sentencing at the federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, Buck’s lawyers had asked that the 67-year-old receive a sentence that would one day allow him to return to society. However, prosecutors urged U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder to send Buck to prison for the rest of his life to protect the public.
Buck did offer condolences to the families of his victims, but denied he had caused their deaths. He described how he had spent much of his life advocating for political causes and gay and animal rights. “Take a look at my life in total,” he said to Snyder. “And not the horrible caricature the government painted me as — a meth-fueled ax killer.”
Before sentencing Buck to 30 years, Snyder said this case was one of the most difficult and tragic she had ever presided over.
“Thank you to everyone for the phone calls, kind words, sweet inboxes, texts, and money you sent me ahead of sentencing,” Posted Gemmel Moore’s mother, Latisha Nixon, on her Facebook page. “I could not have gotten this far without the support of you all! This has been a hard journey wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But Im grateful for you all!”