Edward Buck appears in Los Angeles Superior Court, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in Los Angeles. The prominent LGBTQ political activist was arrested on Tuesday and charged with operating a drug house and providing methamphetamine to a 37-year-old man who overdosed on Sept. 11, but survived, officials said. Two other men have died in his apartment since 2017. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Political activist in overdose death called 'serious threat'

September 19, 2019 - 3:50 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. prosecutors on Thursday charged political activist Ed Buck with a deadly drug overdose at his Los Angeles-area home, releasing a criminal complaint that detailed multiple allegations he injected men with meth against their wishes during sexual encounters.

The charge followed an investigation that found at least 10 alleged victims who described in salacious detail Buck's apparent fetish to pay men to use drugs and have sex, which often took a dark turn and led to several suspected overdoses.

Buck, 65, faces a federal charge of distributing methamphetamine resulting in the death of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore, whose naked body was found on the floor of Buck's living room in 2017.

Even after another man, Timothy Dean, died of an overdose at Buck's home in January, the wealthy and influential Democratic donor continued to solicit men for sex and drug use until last week, when another man who overdosed managed to escape as Buck tried to stop him from leaving, authorities said.

Both men who died were black. Buck, who is white, was not charged immediately following the deaths, and critics later questioned if wealth, race or political ties influenced the investigation.

U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said Buck preyed on homeless and other vulnerable men and is a "serious threat to public safety." He will try to have Buck held without bail.

Messages to Buck's attorney, Seymour Amster, were not immediately returned.

Authorities said Buck used his position of power to manipulate men into participating in sexual fantasies that involved injecting meth.

On some occasions, someone refused to inject drugs and Buck plunged the needle in himself, Agent John Mundell of the Drug Enforcement Administration said in an affidavit.

The federal charge comes two days after state prosecutors charged him with operating a drug house after the man who escaped said he had overdosed there on Sept. 4 and again on Sept. 11.

Buck appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court on the state charges Thursday and was held on $4 million bail. His arraignment was postponed until next month.

Buck came under investigation in January after Dean, 55, was found dead of an accidental methamphetamine overdose in his apartment. In July 2017, Moore died from a methamphetamine overdose, prosecutors said.

Moore's mother, LaTisha Nixon, "is relieved that Ed Buck is no longer on the streets and free to continue harming black men," her lawyer, Hussain Turk, said Wednesday.

Buck has donated tens of thousands of dollars to California candidates, including Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, and is well known in LGBTQ political circles.

___

Associated Press writer Christopher Weber in Los Angeles contributed to this story.