Top Democrat donor faces new charges for prostitution, forced OD deaths
Democrat donor Ed Buck is facing more felony charges in the forced overdose deaths of Black men he solicited for prostitution.
“The Justice Department announced Tuesday that a Los Angeles federal grand jury returned an updated indictment with the additional felony charges, bringing a total of nine counts against Buck, 65, before he is scheduled to head to trial in January,” says the New York Post.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D), Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey (D) and U.S. Reps. Ted Lieu (D) and Adam B. Schiff (D) have received more than $150,000 from Buck says the Los Angeles Times.
Prosecutors allege that Buck recruited Black men to have sex with him for money, and then administered methamphetamines to the men himself, often against their will.
“Buck scouted his victims through social media sites and a gay dating website, according to the indictment. Once inside his home, Buck would prepare syringes of meth and would in some instances personally inject his victims with or without their consent, prosecutors allege,” the Post says.
Scandal has swirled around Buck for years after Gemmel Moore was found dead from an overdose in Buck’s home in 2017. Local DA Jackie Lacey declined to prosecute Buck for lack of evidence, despite mounting worries amongst some of Buck’s guilt.
“There isn’t anything suspicious about it,” said Sheriff’s office spokesman, Lt. Edward Ramirez told a magazine at the time. “There’s nothing pointing toward death at the hands of another, so it’s not something we would do any follow-up on.”
In September 2018, however, another Black man overdosed in Buck’s home, but survived the ordeal.
Then in January 2019, Timothy Michael Dean died of an overdose at Buck’s home, which prompted civil rights groups to call for an investigation of Buck.
“If a young man was found dead in my house, I would have been handcuffed, publicly humiliated in front of my house, in front of my neighbors,” said Jeffrey King, founder of a Black gay activist group in L.A. who demanded an investigation. “They would have placed me in a car, held my head as they lowered me down into the backseat. They would have taken me to the station. … But that did not happen to Ed Buck.”
But one politico who advocated for the family of Gemmel Moore said Buck’s political affiliation was as important than his sexual orientation and his race in protecting Buck from prosecution.
“It’s more than race and class,” Jasmyne Cannick, a political consultant told the Los Angeles Times. “It is also political. This is a man protected by the Democratic Party.”
The Times says that Buck gave over $500,000 to Democrat causes since the mid-2000s.
“Buck exerted power over his victims, 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,” federal prosecutors say in the indictment.
Charges against Buck include running a drug house and transporting someone across state lines for the purposes of prostitution. He’s being held without bail.
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