Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Public safety

Lutz man convicted of running sex trafficking scheme

A Lutz man who authorities say manipulated women into prostitution was convicted on drug and sex trafficking charges Thursday.

Andrew Blane Fields, 62, of Lutz could face life in prison for possession with intent to distribute controlled substances including oxycodone, Dilaudid and morphine and for sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Fields controlled his victims by giving them addictive drugs and threatening to take them away if they didn't work for him as prostitutes. At trial, federal prosecutors presented evidence that Fields targeted young women working at strip clubs or already working as prostitutes.

Fields was charged by criminal complaint in March after authorities searched his home and found thousands of prescription pills. He was indicted in April and faces a sentence of 15 years to life in prison on each of the five sex trafficking convictions.

"Using false promises to lure them in, he cruelly exploited them for his own profit, destroying them with drugs and selling them for sex, using highly addictive illegal drugs to hold them under his control," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels of the Civil Rights Division.

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