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Human Smuggling/Trafficking

Lutz man indicted on drug conspiracy and sex trafficking charges

TAMPA, Fla. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment Thursday charging a Lutz man with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances like 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. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with assistance from the Clearwater Police Department and the Clearwater Area Human Trafficking Task Force.

According to the indictment, from 2008 through the end of 2012, Andrew Blane Fields, 62, 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, HSI special agents recovered thousands of prescription pills from Fields' residence.

If convicted on all counts, Fields faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.

Fields was previously charged by criminal complaint March 20.

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.