LUTZ, Fla. - A 61-year-old Lutz man is in jail for commercial sex trafficking out of his mobile home. Homeland Security reports at least 20 women bought drugs and/or prostituted for Andrew Blane Fields.
Arrested last month, Fields was indicted Thursday in federal court, and faces several charges after a two-year investigation that began on Backpage.com, as Homeland Security agents, in conjunction with the Clearwater Area Human Trafficking Task Force, responded to adult ads offering sex.
At one point, agents report meeting with a 17-year-old, driven by Fields, to what he believed was a prostitution job.
They say the heart of his operation was prescription drugs, mainly Oxycodone.
According to a federal criminal complaint filed in the Middle District of Florida, "On at least one occasion, Fields physically forced prescription drugs down Victim #1's throat when she refused to keep working for him. Fields kept Victim #1 under his control by feeding her prescription pill addiction."
"Makes me think now, suppose he might've approached one of my neighbors or one of the neighborhood children," said Wayne Caffrey.
Caffrey, president of the neighborhood watch group, says the mobile home park at 1920 East 151st Avenue in Lutz is quieter now, and has been for about a month since Fields' arrest.
"Young girls mostly, getting in and out of the vehicles," Caffrey explained. "Pick-ups. Drop-offs. Just a lot of activity."
According to HSI, agents found a pimp stick used for status and punishment, books on how to be a pimp, and thousands of prescription pills.
They believe Fields sold women drugs, then made them pay off their debt by performing commercial sex acts. In at least one case, Fields is accused of shoving Oxycodone down a woman's throat when she tried to leave.
"He was a great guy to me. He helped me buy cat food every other week," explained Tammy Henry. "If you needed something, he was there."
Henry and several other neighbors believe Fields was framed by the women.
"I think it's a bunch of bull," Betty Muller said. "Somebody talked to one of the girls and conned her into saying stuff about him."
He wishes he'd alerted agents about his patrols even earlier.
"When you really don't know what's going on, it's hard to pinpoint it, but we're glad to see him gone," he said.