Ed Buck Pleads Not Guilty in Federal Court

By Kate Sosin and Jeff Taylor

Ed Buck stood up in a federal courtroom in Los Angeles Thursday morning and entered a not-guilty plea for his alleged role in the deaths of Timothy Dean and Gemmel Moore.

The Democratic mega-donor was arraigned on federal charges of distributing methamphetamine that resulted in the deaths of both men.

Each of the charges alleging distribution of narcotics leading to death carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years federal imprisonment, and a maximum of life in prison without the possibility for parole.

Ed Buck court

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The indictment alleges Buck provided methamphetamine to both men, who died of fatal overdoses in his apartment: Moore on July 27, 2017, and Dean on January 7, 2019.

Buck also faces three additional charges of providing methamphetamine to men, one in May of last year, one in December of last year, and one last month.

The indictment says he “engaged in a pattern of soliciting men to consume drugs that Buck provided and perform sexual acts at Buck’s apartment,” using social media, a gay dating site, and a recruiter to scout and solicit them. He is also said to have often targeted “vulnerable individuals who were destitute, homeless, and/or struggled with drug addiction.”

Buck, who is being held in federal custody without bond, allegedly prepared syringes containing meth, sometimes injecting the victims himself, with or without consent, injected them with more of the drug than they were expecting, and at times while they were unconscious.

He is also facing charges of operating a drug house, which were filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office last month.

Ed Buck

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Looking bewildered in a tan jumpsuit and shielded by bullet proof glass, Buck stepped up in front of Judge Frederick F. Mumm.

“Edward Buck, how do you plead?” Mumm asked.

“Yes,” a confused Buck replied. “I’m sorry. I’m working with one hearing aid…not guilty.”

A packed courtroom stared silently at Buck, with Dean and Moore’s family and friends filling the back row. Moore’s mother—who has waged a media campaign pressuring authorities to investigate the 2017 death of her son—sat quietly in sunglasses and a grey dress.

Outside the courtroom, Dean and Moore’s families gathered to take reporter’s questions, and, through grief, celebrated the arraignment.

“Today was one day closer to getting justice for my brother,” said Dean’s sister, Joann Campbell, through her tears.

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