LOS ANGELES (CN) – High-profile Democratic donor and LGTBQ activist Ed Buck was arrested Tuesday in Los Angeles and charged with running a drug house where he preyed on vulnerable gay men who overdosed after being injected with methamphetamine.
The prominent donor, full name Edward Peter Buck, came under fire from authorities and Black Lives Matter activists in LA after two incidents in which gay black men died in his West Hollywood home.
Activists protested outside Buck’s home after he denied playing a role in the deaths of Gemmel Moore in 2017 and Timothy Dean in 2019.
A third, unnamed man, who Buck is accused of injecting with methamphetamine on September 11, survived the overdose, according to court.
Prosecutors have recommended bail be set at $4 million, saying in a court filing Tuesday that Buck is a “predator” and a danger to others.
“He mainly preys on men made vulnerable by addiction and homelessness,” the bail motion said, adding that Buck lures victims into his sexual fetishes. “These fetishes include supplying and personally administering dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims. The defendant’s predatory acts and conscious disregard for human life must be stopped.”
Buck, 65, is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles.
Buck is charged a felony count each of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house.
If convicted, Buck faces a possible maximum sentence of five years and eight months in state prison.
Seymour Amster, Buck’s longtime attorney, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A federal judge ruled last week that Buck and Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey must face some of the claims in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the mother of 26-year-old Moore.
Buck solicited Moore for sex and later injected him with crystal meth, the complaint says.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigated Moore’s death but Lacey later declined to file criminal charges.
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement Tuesday that she authorized charges against Buck after new evidence emerged of his actions.
“I remain deeply concerned for the safety of people whose life circumstances may make them more vulnerable to criminal predators,” Lacey said.
Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon, filed the wrongful death suit. Her attorney Hussain Turk said in a statement Wednesday that Buck’s arrest is a “small victory in a struggle for justice that is far from over.”
“I am relieved to know that, for now, Ed Buck is no longer free to torture and terrorize Black men,” Turk said.
“I am disappointed that it took the County more than 2 years to conclude that Ed Buck poses a threat to public safety, and even more disappointed that the County’s criminal charges against Mr. Buck do not include homicide counts for the deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean,” he added. “That is why I will continue prosecuting Mr. Moore’s mother’s federal civil rights case against the County: their discriminatory failure to properly investigate Mr. Moore’s death made it possible for Mr. Buck to kill Timothy Dean and cause many more Black men to suffer non-fatal overdoses.”
Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair Mark J. González said in a statement Wednesday that a “predator with a Jekyll and Hyde personality is now off the streets.”
“We thank Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and her team of investigators for conducting a thorough investigation in the tragic deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean,” González said. “We know that the judicious approach to the investigation took some time, but we hope that the District Attorney’s action will lead to more than just his arrest last night. For Mr. Moore’s and Mr. Dean’s families, we hope his arrest is the first step toward justice for their families.”