Former political donor Ed Buck was convicted Tuesday in connection with the drug overdose deaths of two men at his West Hollywood apartment.
The verdict came on the first day of jury deliberations in the case, in which Buck was charged with nine felony counts, including two counts of distribution of controlled substances resulting in death. The charges stemmed from the deaths of Gemmel Moore in July 2017 and Timothy Dean in January 2019 at Buck’s West Hollywood apartment.
Buck, who has reportedly given more than $500,000 to mostly Democratic politicians and causes since 2000, was found guilty on all counts.
Family members of the men who died spoke after the verdict was announced early Tuesday afternoon. LaTisha Nixon, the mother of Gemmel Moore, was among those who spoke.
Tuesday marked four years to the day of her son’s death.
“Thank you to everybody who believed us,” Nixon said. “This is my baby, my son, a human being. He’s loved by a lot of people.
“We got victory today. So, I’m grateful, and I’m happy.”
Each of the two charges carry 20-year mandatory minimums. Details about a sentencing date were not immediately available.
Buck was additionally charged with knowingly enticing Moore to travel to Los Angeles to engage in prostitution.
He also faced a second count of enticing a different man to travel with the same intent; one count of knowingly and intentionally distributing methamphetamine; and one count of using his West Hollywood apartment for the purpose of distributing narcotics such as methamphetamine, and the sedatives gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and clonazepam.
Buck maintains that the deaths stemmed from underlying medical conditions, not the drugs the men ingested.
Prosecutors said Buck exploited vulnerable, primarily Black men by paying them to come to his home, use drugs, then engage in sex play to satisfy a fetish.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea Norell told the jury last week that dozens of men entered the “gates of hell” when they went to Buck’s garishly decorated apartment.
A string of men who survived “party and play” drug and sex sessions with Buck have testified of their experiences at the North Laurel Avenue apartment.
Source: NBC Los Angeles