A Kentucky man was sentenced Thursday to 36 years in prison for running a violent drug and sex trafficking operation that forced young drug-addicted women to prostitute themselves and sell illicit drugs in the Lexington area, prosecutors said.
Prince Bixler, 41, was convicted in September of 15 federal felonies in connection with his drug and sex trafficking operation, according to the Justice Department.
Between 2013 and March 2018, Bixler compelled three victims into prostitution by physically assaulting them and others to create a climate of fear and intimidation, according to evidence presented at trial.
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The DOJ said Bixler exploited the women’s dependence on crack cocaine or heroin, using it to worsen their addictions and to keep them around him. Bixler also sold crack cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine throughout the Lexington area to numerous customers.
When police executed a search warrant at Bixler’s residence in March 2018, they recovered numerous firearms. Bixler, a convicted felon, was prohibited from possessing these and other firearms, the DOJ said.
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As the investigation proceeded, Bixler threatened one witness with physical violence in an attempt to dissuade her from testifying before the grand jury. He also repeatedly called and harassed another witness on the eve of her scheduled grand jury appearance in an attempt to prevent her from testifying.
“Prince Bixler cruelly used violence to create a climate of fear to coerce his victims, while at the same time he increased their dependence on him by exploiting and furthering their serious drug addictions,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pam Karlan. “Human trafficking shatters the lives of those it impacts, leaving lasting physical and mental scars. There can be no place in our society for this conduct and I hope that today’s sentence brings some measure of justice to the victims while it also prevents Prince Bixler from harming others in the future.”
After serving his prison sentence, Bixler will have 10 years of supervised release and must pay more than $330,000 in restitution to three sex trafficking victims.