LOS ANGELES – According to a New York Times story published on Sept. 15, deaths in Los Angeles County related to meth overdoses have increased 707 percent over the past decade, from 50 in 2007 to 320 the year Gemmel Moore, 26, died in 66-year-old Ed Buck’s West Hollywood apartment on Laurel Avenue.
Buck pleaded not guilty Sept. 4 to additional charges of multiple felonies that include injecting or administering drugs to Moore on July 27, 2017. He is also charged with soliciting Moore for prostitution and enticing him to cross state lines for that purpose.
Additionally Buck is accused of knowingly and intentionally distributing meth, and of using his apartment for the purpose of distributing narcotics such as meth, gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and clonazepam.
A bail reconsideration hearing is set for Sept. 25 and Buck’s attorney’s will argue for release, offering a $400,000 bail and submission to electronic monitoring for home confinement. COVID-19 is sweeping through the jails and Buck’s health is jeopardized, they will argue.
Prosecutors argue that because Buck, who is also scheduled to face nine counts in federal court, has a history of injecting men with drugs and offering payment for sexual favors he is a danger to the community therefore disqualified for pretrial release.
Trial is scheduled for Jan. 19.
In his Federal case, prosecutors allege that Buck “engaged in a pattern of soliciting men to consume drugs that Buck provided and perform sexual acts at Buck’s apartment,” a practice described, according to court filings, as “party and play”
Buck, who allegedly solicited victims on social media platforms and gay sex apps, may face trafficking charges if it can be proven, as prosecutors suggest, that he used a recruiter to solicit potential victims.
Buck is said to have prepared a crystal meth concoction that he then personally injected into Moore and other victims by syringe (with and without consent) and sometimes while they were unconscious.
A second gay man also died in Buck’s home. Timothy Dean, the indictment says, suffered a fatal overdose in Buck’s apartment, on Jan. 7, 2019.
Charges involving narcotics that resulted in death can carry a mandatory minimum federal penalty of 20 years and possible maximum of life without parole if found guilty.