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Ed Buck, a longtime Democratic party donor and celebrated LGBT activist, has been hit with four additional charges in a case that saw two men found dead from drug overdoses in his apartment.
Mr Buck was first arrested in 2019 after a man was found dead in his house having suffered a methamphetamine overdose. He was indicted by a grand jury on three counts of distributing methamphetamine and two of distributing methamphetamine resulting in death.
A superseding indictment has now been returned, with the grand jury in the case issuing four new charges against him in addition to the original five. Along with two new drug charges, Mr Buck has been hit with two new counts of enticing men to travel to engage in prostitution.
A former candidate for a city council seat in West Hollywood, Mr Buck has donated well over $300,000 to Democratic candidates and Super PACs.
The original indictment related to the deaths of two men, Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean, who died separately in Mr Buck’s apartment after suffering fatal overdoses.
According to that indictment, Mr Buck allegedly solicited the men to come to his apartment as part of a pattern in which he would inject them with methamphetamine himself, with or without their consent and sometimes while they were unconscious.
“Buck exerted power over his victims,” reads the indictment, “often targeting vulnerable individuals who were destitute, homeless, and/or struggled with drug addiction, in order to exploit the relative wealth and power imbalance between them.”
Mr Buck’s arrest in 2019 came two years after Mr Moore died in his apartment. While the police were called at that time, they declined to charge him with anything even though methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were found in his apartment.
And despite various groups campaigning for the police to take action, Mr Dean died in the same apartment before Mr Buck was ultimately arrested and charged.
Mr Buck is now expected to go to trial next year. He is being represented by Christopher Darden, who served as a co-prosecutor in the OJ Simpson trial.