A federal grand jury indicted Democratic political donor Ed Buck on four felonies in addition to the five he already faces for allegedly enticing multiple men to engage in prostitution and providing them with drugs, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
Buck, 66, allegedly solicited men on social media and dating apps to come to his West Hollywood apartment for hours of sex, where he would inject them with meth or narcotics, sometimes without their consent and sometimes with a higher dose than the victims expected, according to the indictment. At times, he allegedly used a recruiter to scout for new men and preyed on men struggling with addiction or homelessness. At least three men, all Black, allegedly overdosed in Buck’s apartment with drugs he gave to them. Two of them, Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean, died there. Buck has denied the allegations.
Tuesday’s indictment added intentionally distributing drugs, two counts of enticing men to cross state lines to engage in prostitution, and using his apartment to dispense drugs to the charges Buck already faces. In all, he’s charged with nine crimes and faces life in prison if convicted. He was arrested in September 2019, and his federal trial is scheduled for January 2021. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has also charged him with using his apartment to distribute drugs. He faces charges from the state of California and civil suits filed by victims as well.
Victims’ family members have said authorities ignored their relatives’ cases because the men were poor, queer, and Black, with Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey singled out in particular. Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon, said she had identified and interviewed seven men who endured meth injections from Buck and presented them to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, but, according to Nixon’s lawsuit against Buck and Lacey, the sheriff’s office ignored them.
The accounts of these men appear as supporting evidence in the federal indictments against Buck. One alleged victim referred to him as “Dr. Kevorkian,” the physician whose name has become a stand-in for assisted suicide.
Jasmyne Cannick, an attorney representing Moore’s family, said in a statement, “The additional indictments against Ed Buck just further prove that the men who came forward and told their stories of the white man in West Hollywood who loved to inject Black men with meth were true.”
“We’re happy that the Department of Justice is taking this case seriously,” she continued. “But we are still disappointed in L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s failure to take action against Ed Buck. Jackie Lacey's failure to take the accounts of Black gay men seriously is the reason that Timothy Dean is dead.”
Asked last year how she felt when Buck had been arrested, Moore’s mother LaTisha Nixon said, “I felt—finally. Finally. Finally. We had been screaming for so long and no one listened. Finally someone listened. Finally.”
Hussain Turk, who represents Dean’s sisters, previously told The Daily Beast, “The reason why we believe police did nothing with these reports is because of the races and sexual orientations of the victims—they’re Black, gay, homeless, and people who are the most vulnerable of our society. The police don’t view them as valid witnesses.”