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Survivor Dane Brown (second from left), and LaTisha Nixon, Gemmel Moores mother (center) with friends and family orejoice in the guilty verdict for Ed Buck in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Photo: Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Ed Buck, a wealthy Democratic donor, was convicted Tuesday of charges related to the supply of fatal methamphetamine doses to two men at his West Hollywood apartment.

Driving the news: A federal jury found the prominent 66-year-old political activist guilty of all nine felony counts over the deaths. Prosecutors made the case of "an older white man using his power and money to exploit the poverty and drug addiction" of younger, gay Black men, per the Los Angeles Times.

  • "Buck exerted power and control over his victims, typically targeting individuals who were destitute, homeless or struggling with drug addiction," the Justice Department said in a statement.
  • "He exploited the wealth and power balance between them by offering his victims money to use drugs and to let Buck inject them with narcotics," the statement added.

Of note: Buck's conviction occurred exactly four years on from when Gemmel Moore, one of his victims, was found dead from an overdose at his home.

  • Timothy Dean was found dead at the same apartment in January 2019.

The big picture: The deaths of the two Black men were originally ruled accidental, but dozens of LGBTQ and civil rights groups urged police to investigate allegations that Buck had a history of bringing gay black men to his apartment to inject them with crystal meth for sexual gratification.

  • Buck, a one-time candidate for West Hollywood City Council, was arrested after Dane Brown survived an overdose in his apartment in September 2019. Brown testified during the trial that Buck "injected him with meth nearly daily for five weeks," per AP.

What to watch: Buck could face life in prison after the guilty finding of two counts of distribution of methamphetamine resulting in death, four distribution of methamphetamine, one of maintaining a drug-involved premises, and two of enticement to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Updated 3 mins ago - Economy & Business

S&P 500 on track for worst-ever start to year

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their steepest drop of the year early Monday, putting the S&P 500 on course for its worst-ever start to a year.

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading, momentarily putting it on track to fall into a "correction." Some of the steepest losses were recovered in early afternoon trading.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Health care workers hit new breaking point

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The ranks of health care workers are dwindling and stretching what it means to be reaching their "breaking points," particularly at small nonprofit hospitals.

The big picture: Even as Omicron cases have begun to wane in some places, many hospitals are still fielding a crush of patients amid record employee callouts.

Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial

Sarah Palin. Photo: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, delaying the start of her defamation trial against the New York Times.

Why it matters: The trial will be closely watched, as it's a rare instance of a major media company defending its editorial practices before an American jury.

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