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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

Pelosi's back-to-school math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) may need votes from an unlikely source — the Republican Party — if she hopes to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by next Monday, as she's promised Democratic centrists.

Why it matters: With at least 20 progressives threatening to vote against the $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill, centrist members are banking on more than 10 Republicans to approve the bill.

By the numbers: Haitian emigration

Expand chart
Data: CBP; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The number of Haitians crossing the U.S.-Mexico border had been rising even before their country's president was assassinated in July and the island was struck by an earthquake a month later.

Why it matters: A spike during the past few weeks — leaving thousands waiting in a makeshift camp under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas — has prompted a crackdown and deportations by the Biden administration.

Biden's communication headaches

President Biden stands with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit in June. Photo: Patrick Semansky/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Boris Johnson told reporters on his way to the U.N. General Assembly on Sunday night he didn't believe it was likely that the U.S. would agree to lift its ban on vaccinated foreign travelers this week. Hours later, the White House did exactly that.

Why it matters: For the second time in less than a week, a major U.S. foreign policy decision by the Biden administration appears to have caught one of its closest allies by surprise. And neither was the first time, either.

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