Deliberating for more than four jours a two-week trial, the jury found Ed Buck, a wealthy political activist, guilty on charges that he injected gay men with methamphetamine in exchange for sex, leading to two deaths and other overdoses.
On Tuesday, a federal jury convicted Buck of all nine felony counts, which could lead to a life sentence.
The verdict came exactly four years after one of the victims was found dead of an overdose in Buck’s West Hollywood apartment.
Born in Steubenville, Ohio in 1954, Edward Bernard Peter Buckmelter, or Ed Buck, started out as a fashion model early on in his career.
Reportedly, Buck worked for a friend's company, Rapid Information Services, before buying it out for $250,000 and later renamed it as Gopher Courier.
After five years, Buck sold the company and became a millionaire. And since then started to venture into politics. Buck led the campaign to impeach Arizona Republican Governor Evan Mecham in 1987 by founding the "Mecham Watchdog Committee". Owing to the campaign he gained popularity in the state.
Since then he has given more than $500,000 to mostly Democratic politicians and causes since 2000. He was also active in gay causes and animal rights issues.
In 2018, police found the dead body of Gemmel Moore, 26, fatally overdosed in Buck’s West Hollywood home in 2017, but they declined to charge the 66-year-old.
Even after Timothy Dean, 55, died 18 months later, it took another nine months and the near-death of another overdose victim before Buck was arrested in September 2019.
The arrest of Buck marked a turning point for activists who had rallied outside the businessman's home and pressured police to act.
Family members and activists had pushed for Buck’s arrest since Moore died. They said Buck escaped criminal charges for years because of wealth, political ties and race.