A Lowell, Massachusetts man with a lengthy criminal record pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges he exploited homeless drug addicts in a sex trafficking operation.
Harold Jack Lucas, 61, faced several charges, including three counts of trafficking in persons for sexual servitude, two counts of deriving support from prostitution and possession with intent to distribute the opioid Fentanyl, The Boston Herald reported.
The State Attorney’s office said their investigation revealed that Lucas supplied women with those drugs -- described as 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin -- in exchange for engaging in sex work.
He also demanded the women meet a certain quota and surrender their earnings to him, investigators said.
Assistant Attorney General Gina Kwon said witnesses told police that Lucas took women to Atlantic City -- controlling how much they ate, where they worked and when they left the streets in the morning, according to the Herald report.
“Lucas would ply them with drugs whenever they needed it — not necessarily in exchange for their work — all their money would go to Mr. Lucas,” Kwon said, according to The Lowell Sun, noting “Lucas has what I would say is one of the most horrendous records I’ve ever seen.”
Lucas was held on $100,000 bail.
Lucas’s 22-page criminal records extends to 1973, and includes both violent felonies and drug offenses, according to the Sun.
He was sentenced to three years in prison in 2012, after pleading guilty to three counts of deriving support from prostitution, and one count each of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.