A federal grand jury returned indictments against Ed Buck, a wealthy donor to Democratic politicians, over two overdose deaths at his Los Angeles apartment.
He was charged in the indictments with providing methamphetamine that led to the deaths of Gemmel Moore in 2017, and Timothy Dean in January.
Moore was 26 years old at the time of his death, and Dean was 53 years old.
Local community leaders have been outraged that law enforcement appears to have been lax in charging Buck, who has powerful political allies through his campaign donations.
He was also charged with providing methamphetamine to three other men, including one other who overdosed.
Prosecutors allege that Buck pressured black men he had lured into his West Hollywood apartment to take drugs as part of a sex ritual.
"He was just looking for survival methods, such as money, shelter, and Ed Buck knew that," said a friend to KCAL-9 about Moore. "He preyed on him for that, and he preyed on a lot of other black gay males within our community."
The affidavit in the charges claims that Buck was nicknamed "Doctor Kevorkian," and "was well known for compensating male prostitutes with drugs and money."
The Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey denied allegations that Buck's political contributions had kept him from being charged in the deaths.
"We don't arrest people based on rumor and innuendo, we've got to have hard facts, hard evidence," Lacey said at a media briefing.
An attorney for Buck says he denies the charges.
Here's more about the charges against Ed Buck:
Ed Buck Federally Charged In 2017 Overdose Death Of Gemmel Moore www.youtube.com