Ed Buck, the WeHo political donor who prosectors said has a “fetish” for injecting vulnerable Black men with drugs until they are rendered unconscious and defenseless, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison Thursday for crimes relating to the overdose deaths of Gemmel Moore in July 2017 and Timothy Dean in January 2019.
Buck, 67, was convicted last July of felonies including distributing methamphetamine resulting in death and enticement to cross state lines to engage in prostitution.
Buck specifically preyed on at-risk Black men, prosectors said when asking U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder to send Buck to prison for the rest of his life, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“If Buck were ever released,” they wrote, “he would feed his compulsion to inject others until the day he died.”
Underscoring the need to put Buck away for good, assistant U.S. attorney Chelsea Norell, noted, “One death is a tragedy, but two is a pattern.”
Prosecutors illustrated that pattern throughout the trial by playing videos Buck made of himself with his victims.
As The Advocate reported during the trial, “Some of the clips displayed Buck and/or his victims smoking meth from a pipe with rubber tubing while wearing a black leather hood mask or Blackface masks; other videos showed Buck directing the men on how he wanted them to smoke meth.”
Norell wrote in a sentencing memo that Buck treated the men “like lab rats in his twisted experiments” after luring them into his filthy apartment, which was strewn with drug paraphernalia and sex toys.
Witnesses testified that Buck would pay them extra if they “slammed,” or allowed Buck to shoot them drugs, the Times reports. One victim, injected with something that left him momentarily paralyzed, didn’t regain control of his body until Buck revved a chainsaw in front of him, charging the man’s adrenaline.
Prosecutors also said Buck used what they called a “carrot-and-stick approach” to getting his victims to let him drug them, sometimes withholding payment if they didn’t smoke enough meth or let him inject them.
A witness named Carlos testified that Buck “liked to see me where I was barely able to stand, barely conscious… He wanted me to be falling around all over the place,” so that Buck “would be able to do whatever he liked as far as touching and everything of that sort.”
In an acquittal motion, ABC7 reports, Buck’s defense attorneys wrote the only evidence that Buck distributed methamphetamine and other drugs at his apartment was bolstered by “the testimony of a parade of financially motivated houseless individuals” and drug addicts and should not have been believed.
Addressing the court before sentencing, Buck said, “I ask that the court take a look at my life in total” and not “the horrible caricature the government painted me as—a meth-fueled axe killer.”
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. news, food, and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.