A federal jury last week voted to convict a white, top Democratic donor on every charge in a nine-count indictment after two Black men died and one overdosed at his West Hollywood home.
CNN reports that Ed Buck, 66, was convicted Tuesday (July 27) on two counts of distribution of methamphetamine resulting in death, distribution of methamphetamine (four counts), maintaining a drug-involved premise (one count), and enticement to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution (two counts). He faces no less than 20 years to life in prison.
A Los Angeles federal jury deliberated for more than four hours after a two-week trial. Buck’s attorney, Ludlow Creary II, did not respond immediately to CNN’s request for comment.
Activist and political strategist Jasmyne Cannick, who has been an advocate for the families, told The Los Angeles Times, “It was an uphill battle just because he was a white man who had money. Even if you take the ‘Democratic donor’ part out of it, you have a white man who lives in West Hollywood, and you have these Black victims who are sex workers. The scale is immediately uneven.”
Buck’s West Hollywood apartment has been the scene of two overdose deaths since 2018.
LaTisha Nixon, the mother of Gemmel Moore, who died of a lethal dose of crystal methamphetamine in 2017 at Buck’s apartment, said outside of the courthouse, “My son was more than an ‘escort,’ more than a ‘prostitute,’ as many of you guys said. This is my baby. My son. He was a human being, and he was loved by lots of people.”
Moore was 26 when he died.
On Jan. 7, 2019, Timothy Dean, 55, also died of a meth overdose in Buck’s home.
Additionally, a third man suffered an overdose after Buck injected him with methamphetamine on Sept. 11, 2019, at Buck’s residence. Thankfully, the 37-year-old man survived and testified in court.
In 2019, prosecutors said in court documents, according to BBC News, “From his home, in a position of power, Buck manipulates his victims into participating in his sexual fetishes. These fetishes include supplying and personally administering dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims.”
A sentencing date has not been scheduled as of yet.
CNN notes that “Buck has donated to a number of Democratic candidates and PACs in recent years, according to information from OpenSecrets, a nonpartisan group that tracks money in US politics. Recipients rushed to return Buck’s money after Dean’s death.”
This story originally appeared on CNN.