Will Ed Buck’s Trial Reveal The Truth About The Overdose Deaths Of Two Men In His Home?
The former philanthropist is accused of ‘distribution of controlled substances resulting in death.’
A judge has denied a request to delay former philanthropist and political donor Edward Buck’s criminal trial next month in connection with the drug overdose deaths of two Black men on two separate occasions at his West Hollywood apartment.
Buck, 66, faces a total of nine federal charges including enticement of prostitution across state lines, KCAL-TV reported.
The original indictment in the case alleged the defendant “engaged in a pattern of soliciting men to consume drugs that Buck provided and perform sexual acts at Buck’s apartment,” according to the station.
On July 27, 2017, Gemmel Moore, 26, traveled from Houston to Los Angeles, where he went to Buck’s home. Early that evening, Buck called 911, but it was too late and Moore was pronounced dead at the scene. Deputies allegedly noted a clear plastic bag containing a “crystal-like substance,” syringes with brown residue, a straw and glass pipe, among other paraphernalia inside Buck’s residence, according to The New York Times Magazine. The cause of Moore’s death was eventually ruled an accidental meth overdose.
On January 7, 2019, emergency dispatchers received another 911 call from Buck’s apartment. Responding paramedics discovered Timothy Dean, 55, dead from what toxicology tests later showed was a meth overdose. Like in Moore’s case, the coroner ruled the death an accident, The New York Times Magazine reported.
Eight months later, on September 11, 2019, a man who had been staying with Buck went to a nearby gas station and asked for help, saying he thought he was having a heart attack. The cashier called 911, and the man told sheriff’s deputies he had overdosed because Buck allegedly injected him with a potentially lethal dose of meth. Buck, the man claimed, then refused to call for help.
The former political donor was arrested shortly after and charged under federal law with “distribution of controlled substances resulting in death,” according to the Times.
A year later, a judge denied Buck’s request for bail.
“Ed Buck was asking to be confined to his home,” Jasmyne Cannick, an advocate for the victims, said in September 2020, according to KCAL-TV. “Home is where his crimes were committed. Home is where his drugs were delivered to. Home is where he was injecting people and sexually assaulting people. Home is where two Black men died. So, we’re excited and happy that the judge saw fit to deny his bail.”
Buck, who is being held in federal custody without bond, has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. He faces decades behind bars if convicted.