Wave Wire Services
LOS ANGELES — A man who said he lived with Ed Buck for five weeks alleged July 22 that the former political donor became angry when he showed signs of overdosing on a sedative and the methamphetamine Buck is suspected of repeatedly shooting into his arm as the prosecution began winding down its case.
Dane Brown, 39, said he was living in a Skid Row hotel when he met Buck in June 2019 on a gay dating and escort site and was invited to his West Hollywood apartment for drugs and sex. Brown told the jury that upon his first visit, he smoked methamphetamine with Buck and noticed a red Craftsman tool chest filed with crystal methamphetamine, sex toys, syringes and glass pipes.
Days later, Buck sent an Uber for Brown, who admitted he was having “cravings” for methamphetamine, known on the street as “tina,” the witness said.
“He asked if I slammed [used needles],” Brown said, adding that he had in fact shot the drug a few times previously but never injected it directly into a vein.
This time, five minutes after his arrival at Buck’s apartment, the defendant prepared a syringe with a “large amount” of the drug and injected it into Brown’s arm, the witness said.
Brown testified that Buck also gave him the powerful sedative GHB — known as the “date-rape drug” — mixed with juice. As the drugs took effect, Buck allegedly prepared additional injections. Each time, Brown said, the amounts grew larger.
Brown said he eventually moved in with Buck for about five weeks in the summer of 2019, telling the jury that Buck shot him up with meth several times a day.
“I felt like I needed to be able to slam whenever he [Buck] wanted,” the witness said.
Events came to a head when Buck administered six large shots in a 24-hour period and Brown lost consciousness, he testified.
“I can’t do anymore,” Brown said he told Buck, who allegedly responded by insisting he “do one more.”
Buck “didn’t want to take no for an answer,” Brown said. “He would get frustrated.”
After staying up for several days without sleep on methamphetamine and GHB, Brown said he lost consciousness.
On another occasion, he felt like he was having serious medical problems and asked Buck for a towel.
“He said, ‘Get it yourself,’” Brown testified. “I felt like I was going to pass out.”
Brown said he left the apartment and made his way to a gas station where paramedics were called.
“I took too much,” he said, crying on the witness stand on the eighth day of Buck’s trial in downtown Los Angeles. “I allowed it to happen.”
Days later, Buck was arrested and charged in state court with operating a drug house. Federal charges followed.
Buck is on trial in Los Angeles federal court on nine felony counts, including two counts of distribution of controlled substances resulting in death, stemming from the deaths of Gemmel Moore in July 2017 and Timothy Dean in January 2019. If convicted, each of the two charges carry 20-year mandatory
Buck is additionally charged with knowingly enticing Moore to travel to Los Angeles to engage in prostitution.
He also faces a second count of enticing a different man to travel with the same intent; one count of knowingly and intentionally distributing methamphetamine; and one count of using his West Hollywood apartment for the purpose of distributing narcotics such as methamphetamine, and the sedatives gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and clonazepam.
Buck, who has reportedly given more than $500,000 to mostly Democratic politicians and causes since 2000, maintains that the deaths stemmed from underlying medical conditions, not the drugs the men ingested.
Prosecutors say Buck exploited vulnerable, primarily Black men by paying them to come to his home, use drugs, then engage in sex play to satisfy a fetish. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea Norell told the jury earlier that dozens of men entered the “gates of hell” when they went to Buck’s garishly decorated apartment.
A string of men who survived “party and play” — drug and sex — sessions with Buck have testified of their experiences at the North Laurel Avenue apartment.
The defense case is expected to begin July 23 and closing arguments could be presented at the end of the day or early next week.