By TOM LATEK, Kentucky Today
FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – A Lexington man has been convicted on federal charges related to a sex and drug trafficking operation that sold drugs throughout the Lexington area and forced young, drug-addicted women into prostitution.
The U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Kentucky says Prince Bixler, 41, was found guilty following a seven-day trial and more than six hours of deliberations at U.S. District Court in Frankfort.
Jurors convicted him of three counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion; two counts of tampering with a witness, victim or an informant; one count of operating an unlawful prostitution business as an interstate racketeering enterprise; six counts of distributing controlled substances including crack cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine; and three counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Evidence presented at trial, including the testimony of four victims, established that Bixler forced them into prostitution between 2013 and March 2018 by physically assaulting them and others; and weakening the victims by worsening their addictions to crack cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine.
He also sold crack cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine throughout the Lexington area to numerous customers, according to prosecutors. The Lexington Police Department executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence in March 2018, which led to the recovery of numerous firearms. As a convicted felon, Bixler was prohibited from possessing firearms.
“The hard work, dedication, and cooperation of law enforcement from state and federal agencies have made our community safer and brought some measure of justice to the victims of Prince Bixler,” said U. S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan, Jr. “His conduct was truly despicable and will serve to strengthen our resolve to combat the destructive exploitation of human traffickers. I commend the members of the investigative and prosecution teams for their committed work in prosecuting this case.”
Bixler will be sentenced on Dec. 29. He faces a minimum sentence of 15 years and up to life in prison, as well as mandatory restitution to the sex trafficking victims.