Prolific Human Trafficker, Whose Victims Included Children And Foreign Nationals, Sentenced To 35 Years In Federal Prison
Tampa, FL - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces the return by a federal grand jury of an indictment charging Andrew Blane Fields (62, Lutz) with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances, namely Oxycodone, Dilaudid, and Morphine, three counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion, and two counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted on all counts, Fields faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.
According to the indictment, at least as early as 2008 through the end of 2012, Fields engaged in the sex trafficking of three different victims for commercial gain. Fields coerced and controlled the victims by, among other methods, supplying them with a large number of highly addictive prescription drugs on a daily basis. During the execution of a federal search warrant, law enforcement recovered thousands of prescription pills from Fields' residence. Fields was previously charged by criminal complaint on March 20, 2013.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance of the Clearwater Police Department and members of the Clearwater Area Human Trafficking Task Force. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Josephine W. Thomas and Trial Attorney William E. Nolan with the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division's Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.