Jury selection began Tuesday (July 13) in the federal criminal trial of former political donor Ed Buck. Buck, 66, faces nine felony counts in connection with the fatal overdoses of two Black men, Gemmel Moore, 26, and Timothy Dean, 55, at his West Hollywood apartment.
Prosecutors in the case say Buck had a “fetish” of paying Black men to allow him to inject them with methamphetamine –– even while they were unconscious, according to NBC Los Angeles. Court documents say Buck routinely lured homeless gay Black men who were vulnerable and struggled with substance addiction back to his apartment. Authorities say that’s where Buck would give the men drugs in exchange for sexual acts.
Law enforcement got involved in Buck’s operation after Moore and Dean suffered fatal overdoses at Buck’s apartment. Moore was found in Buck’s apartment on July 27, 2017. Dean died January 7, 2019. Both men died of methamphetamine overdoses at Buck’s apartment. A website dedicated to Moore and Dean alleged the two men are not the only victims of Ed Buck’s drug injection “fetish.”
The former Democratic fundraiser also faces state charges for operating a drug den, though the federal criminal case is starting first.
Buck is reportedly being represented by Christopher Darden –– the attorney best known for being one of the prosecutors in the trial of O.J. Simpson. According to NBC Los Angeles, potential jurors will be asked about their personal experiences with substance abuse and their views on sex work, homelessness, and more.
If convicted, the charges stemming from the deaths of Moore and Dean each carry a 20-year mandatory minimum.
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
For more mental health resources, click HERE.