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Ed Buck Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Charges on Deaths

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DOWNTOWN – Ed Buck plead not guilty Thursday to federal charges stemming from the overdose deaths of two men inside his West Hollywood apartment. Charges include a series of narcotics distribution offenses, including providing methamphetamine to two men who died after being injected with the drug.

Buck, a 65-year-old West Hollywood resident, was named in a five-count indictment that charges him with two counts of distributing methamphetamine resulting in death.

The indictment alleges that Buck provided methamphetamine to Gemmel Moore, who overdosed on the drug and died on July 27, 2017, and Timothy Dean, who also suffered a fatal overdose in Buck’s apartment, on January 7, 2019.

Each of the charges alleging the distribution of narcotics resulting in death carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison and a maximum penalty of life without parole.

Buck also faces three counts of distributing methamphetamine to men in May 2018, December 2018 and last month. Each of these three charges carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Buck’s arraignment has been scheduled for Oct. 10 in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles.

The indictment alleges that Buck “engaged in a pattern of soliciting men to consume drugs that Buck provided and perform sexual acts at Buck’s apartment,” which is a practice described as “party and play.” Buck allegedly solicited victims on social media platforms, including a gay dating website, and used a recruiter to scout and proposition men.

Once the men were at his apartment, Buck allegedly prepared syringes containing methamphetamine, sometimes personally injecting the victims with or without their consent, according to the indictment. Buck also allegedly injected victims with more narcotics than they expected and sometimes injected victims while they were unconscious.

“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,” the indictment alleges.

Buck also faces charges, including operating a drug house, that were filed last month by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Buck is currently being held in federal custody without bond, and the federal case is expected to proceed first.

The federal case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI. The investigation is being conducted with the support of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Chelsea C. Norell and Brittney M. Harris of the International Narcotics, Money Laundering, and Racketeering Section.

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