A convicted Anchorage drug dealer, diagnosed with cancer and granted early release from a federal prison in California, is now charged with violating Alaska’s two-week quarantine mandate.
But 48-year-old Duane “Fat Daddy” Fields said Tuesday that he did nothing wrong. He says he was misled by his parole officer and his release paperwork.
The charges, filed Friday, say a judge ordered Fields to quarantine in an Anchorage hotel. Then a parole officer supervising him got the results of a coronavirus test conducted on Fields before he left California. Fields tested positive for the virus. His parole officer was trying to find him to deliver the test results but found Fields broke quarantine by leaving his hotel to visit his mother, the charges say.
According to Fields, though, parts of the story told in the charges are not true.
Back in 2012, a jury convicted Fields of distributing cocaine in Anchorage. Fields was sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison.
According to court filings, Fields was serving that time in California when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
In January, Fields’ lawyers asked a judge to grant him early “compassionate” release. Soon, the coronavirus pandemic hit the country and there was widespread concern it would sweep through prisons.
Citing the pandemic, a judge granted Fields’ release back to Alaska, and by May a plan was in place that, according to the charges, said Fields was supposed to quarantine at the Chelsea Inn in Anchorage.
Fields disputes that. He provided a copy of his release paperwork that lists his mother’s address as his proposed residence, not the hotel’s address.
In a phone call, Fields and his mother both said that after he arrived, it was Fields’ mother who said he should not quarantine with her, and that’s how he ended up at the hotel. And Fields says he told his parole officer that he planned to see his mother to get clothes and to get to medical appointments. Fields and his mother claim the officer told them that was OK.
Fields also provided paperwork showing his test for coronavirus in California came back positive May 7, a day before prison officials sent him back to Alaska on a commercial flight May 8. It wasn’t until May 11 that someone from the California prison contacted Fields’ parole officer in Alaska to tell him about Fields’ positive result.
It’s unclear why the prison officials in California allowed Fields to fly to Alaska after the positive result.
The charges say that after getting Fields’ test results, the parole officer tried, unsuccessfully, to contact him. Staff at the Chelsea Inn told the officer Fields had left earlier that day.
The officer then called Fields’ mother, who lives in Anchorage. She said that he was “at that very moment on her couch at her residence,” the charges say.
Fields is now charged with contempt of court for violating the judge’s orders in his release plan, which say he had to follow the Alaska health mandate to quarantine for two weeks after arriving in the state.
Fields said he plans to fight the contempt charge. He said neither he, his mother, nor his daughter — all of whom have been in contact with each other — have shown symptoms of the coronavirus.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect new information from Fields and his family received after the original publication.