TAMPA, Fla. - Andrew Fields, a Lutz man accused of using drugs to coerce women in order to traffic them, was sentenced to 33 years behind bars Wednesday in a downtown Tampa federal court.
Fields was accused of trafficking at least 45 women, but was only charged with trafficking five women and three drug charges.
Federal investigators say they found thousands of pills inside of his Lutz mobile home, among other evidence when they arrested him earlier last year.
A federal grand jury convicted him of the charges in November.
Investigators say he got the young women addicted to drugs like Oxycodone and Morphine and then would periodically allow them to go through a painful detox products to keep them coming back to him to feed their addiction.
He would also have sex with them and then prostitute them out.
"He tried to fill a void in their lives. He found out as much as he could about the girls. He found out what they were missing in their life," said federal investigator Bill Willinger.
In front of Judge Susan Bucklew Wednesday morning, Fields denied the allegations, instead placing blame on the victims themselves.
Victims gave tearful statements in front of the judge, blaming ields for harming them.
"He provided me needles, he showed me how to shoot up. That's not something you should do to anybody, let alone a minor," said Jordan Rennie. She tearfully pleaded for other women who find themselves in the same situation to get help or run to the police.
"I do not want to see anyone else go through what I went through ever, so please help yourself," Rennie said.
Federal Agents say this is the first case in the country where they got a conviction on a case where someone used drugs as coercion to sell someone into human trafficking, and say it sets a precedent.
"Going forward, when other investigators have other trafficking cases, this is going to be another tool that they can use to prosecute," Willinger said.
If Fields, 62, serves his full sentence, he won't get out of prison until he's well into his 90s.