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Democratic donor Ed Buck charged in 2017 drug death, court docs allege more victims

Wealthy Democratic donor Ed Buck was charged Thursday in federal court with providing methamphetamine to a man who overdosed and died in his home in 2017. The new charge comes two days after state charges were levied against him over another man who overdosed in his home last week, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Twenty-six-year-old Gemmel Moore was the first of two men to die of a drug overdose at Buck’s West Hollywood home. Moore’s death was initially ruled accidental. While authorities reportedly re-opened the investigation at the urging of Moore’s family, investigators apparently did not find enough evidence to bring charges against Buck.

After a second man, Timothy Dean, 55, died of an overdose at Buck’s home in January 2019, the LAPD’s Homicide Unit reportedly joined the investigation, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said it would revisit the previous investigation of Moore’s death.

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The 37-year-old man who overdosed last week, known as “Joe Doe,” survived.

An affidavit filed with the federal charges alleges 10 other victims and describes what US Attorney for the Central District of California Nicola Hanna called a “disturbing” pattern in which Buck used drugs as payment for sex, KTLA reported.

Hanna said one victim told investigators he had heard about Buck from other men who dubbed him “Dr. Kevorkian” because he was “well known for compensating male prostitutes with drugs and money.”

LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said Thursday investigators found less restrictions for charging Buck under federal laws, CBS Los Angeles reported.

“Under state law, however, we determined there was insufficient admissible evidence to hold Mr. Buck responsible for the deaths of Mr. Moore and Mr. Dean,” Lacey said. “Ultimately, we arrived at the conclusion that there were more options under federal law that could carry a lengthier prison sentence.”

Buck was taken into federal custody on Thursday.

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[Featured image: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File]