The Democratic donor and political activist Ed Buck was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Thursday for his involvement in multiple drug overdoses, including two deaths.
Buck, 67, had been found guilty of supplying and personally injecting men with methamphetamine in exchange for sex, The Guardian reported.
In July, he was convicted by a federal jury on nine counts, including having a drug house, distributing meth and enticing men to travel for prostitution.
Officials said Buck would pay men to use drugs, inject them with or without their consent and even when they were unconscious, and then perform sex acts on them.
Buck’s practices eventually led to two men dying of overdoses in his West Hollywood apartment, one in 2017 and one in 2019.
“Buck used his money and privilege to exploit the wealth and power imbalances between himself and his victims, who were unhoused, destitute, and/or struggling with addiction,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea Norell wrote in a court filing.
“He spent thousands of dollars on drugs and party and play sessions that destroyed lives and bred insidious addictions.”
Buck is a former model who made a small fortune selling an Arizona courier business, the New York Post reported.
He did not just use his money for his drug den; he is also an LGBT and animal rights activist and a Democratic donor. The Guardian reported that he has given more than $500,000 to various politicians and groups since 2000.
He donated about $4,000 to Hillary Clinton and more than $1,500 to former President Barack Obama, according to the Post. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Reps. Adam Schiff and Ted Lieu also received money from Buck — Lieu to the tune of nearly $20,000.
However, Buck’s political donations stopped in 2017 when Gemmel Moore, a 26-year-old homeless male prostitute, died of a meth overdose in Buck’s apartment.
“Buck’s lack of remorse is aptly captured in one image,” Norell wrote in the filing. “As he was hiding out in a hotel, evading arrest for Gemmel Moore’s death, he was injecting Dane Brown, another young Black man, with back-to-back slams of methamphetamine.”
Buck was finally arrested in September 2019 after Brown was hospitalized following an overdose, according to CBS News.
Since then, Buck has been called a “violent, dangerous sexual predator,” the Post reported.
Federal prosecutors called for a life sentence, while Buck’s defense requested just a decade in prison, saying he was sexually abused as a child and had health problems that led to his drug abuse.