Ed Buck, a prominent Democrat donor who has contributed to the likes of Hillary Clinton, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and California Rep. Adam Schiff, was convicted Tuesday for providing methamphetamine to two black men for sexual favors, who later overdosed and died.
A federal jury convicted Buck of nine felonies. He was found guilty of two counts of distribution of methamphetamine resulting in death, one count of maintaining drug-involved premises, two counts of enticement to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution, and four counts of distribution of methamphetamine.
“In a gruesome case of an older white man using his power and money to exploit the poverty and drug addiction of younger Black men, the jury found Buck guilty of every charge in a nine-count indictment,” The Los Angeles Times reported. “Among them were maintaining a drug den, distribution of methamphetamine and enticement to cross state lines to engage in prostitution.”
Both methamphetamine charges will put Buck, 66, behind prison for a minimum of 20 years. The victims were Gemmel Moore, a 26-year-old who died in 2017, and 55-year-old Timothy Dean, who died in 2019. In September 2019, the donor was arrested for maintaining a narcotics house. Another black man passed away in the area after obtaining methamphetamine from Buck.
Buck has given more than $500,000 to causes and political candidates affiliated with the Democrats since the mid-2000s. As The Los Angeles Times noted, “Forty politicians now holding office in California, ranging from Los Angeles City Hall to Congress, have cashed a check from Buck.”
In addition, lawmakers still in office have gotten over $150,000 from him, even though some have given back the funds. This includes California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
A 2019 indictment said that the donor “engaged in a pattern of soliciting men to consume drugs that Buck provided and perform sexual acts at Buck’s apartment.” Buck found victims on the internet and, according to prosecutors, utilized a recruiter to assist with the process.
Federal prosecutors said in a statement Tuesday that “He exploited the wealth and power balance between them by offering his victims money to use drugs and to let Buck inject them with narcotics.”