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Political donor Ed Buck sentenced to 30 years in prison related to 2 overdose deaths in his home


Political donor Ed Buck was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison Thursday after being convicted on charges related to the overdose deaths of two men in his home.

Buck, 67, was found guilty last year of plying men with drugs during sexual encounters, leading to two Black men overdosing in his apartment in West Hollywood, California. Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles were seeking a life sentence for Buck, saying he preyed on the vulnerable — often young and Black men — for his sexual fetish.

His defense attorneys urged a lower sentence, less than 25 years, that would allow rehabilitation and treatment and “would be much preferable to relegating him to death in prison.”

Gemelle Moore, 26, was found dead of an overdose in Buck’s apartment in July 2017. And less than two years later, in January 2019, Timothy Dean was found dead in the same residence.

Prosecutors said following Buck’s conviction in July that he “exploited the wealth and power balance” between himself and these men. They said he specifically targeted the unhoused and destitute in order to exploit them sexually.

In a court filing prior to sentencing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea Norell said Buck “spent thousands of dollars on drugs and party and play sessions that destroyed lives and bred insidious addictions.”

Buck, a notable political donor, had given more than $53,000 to Democratic candidates and to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee since 2008, according to federal records. Several Democrats returned Buck’s campaign donations after he was charged.

This is a breaking story, please check back for updates.

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