A Las Vegas man who allegedly headed a $300,000-a-year prostitution ring that recruited teen-age runaways from seven states to work as prostitutes in Washington has been charged in a 29-count indictment in U.S. District Court here.
Eddie Lee Anderson, 27, known to police as "Fast Eddie," was arrested May 10 by Nevada authorities at his lavish home in Las Vegas following grand jury testimony by five juveniles and four adults, all females, here in the District. The youngest witness, who was 15, and others alleged that Anderson was their pimp, according to Lt. Robert Poggi of the D.C. police morals division.
The indictment, returned on May 9, charges that Anderson transported the woman named in the indictment " . . . for the purpose of prostitution, debauchery, and other immoral purposes."
Anderson has been charged with 14 violations of the Mann Act, which prohibits the interstate transport of women for immoral purposes. He was also indicted on 13 counts of interstate transportation of a minor for the purpose of prostitution, and one count each of obstructing justice and inducing females to engage in prostitution.
Anderson was brought to the District Thursday night by U.S. marshals and was being held without bond yesterday at the D.C. Jail pending a May 29 arraignment.
Poggi said that modest estimates suggest that Anderson's alleged operation netted at least $300,000 a year and recruited juvenile runaways from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Maryland and Nevada.
Poggi said police started investigating what they believed was a highly organized prostitution ring in the District late last year when several 16- and 17-year-old girls were found to be working out of a downtown Washington hotel as prostitutes.
"At that point we targeted the investigation as to who brought them here and where they were coming from."
With the cooperation of the FBI and local police agencies in various states, District investigators obtained search warrants of apartments and residences and confiscated phone books, pictures, jewelry and other personal effects in attempts to locate and identify potential witnesses, Poggi said.
"We started to deliver some hard evidence to take to the prosecutor's office that there was a a complicated, complex operation in place that involved numerous people acting as lieutenants and assistants," he said.
Poggi said Anderson allegedly traveled from state to state with groups of 10 or more women and sometimes left an associate as a caretaker while he traveled for the purpose of recruiting runaways.
He said Anderson's interstate movements followed a loosely defined route starting in the western part of the country and continuing to the East and the South before returning to his home base in Las Vegas.
Poggi described Anderson as a "major cog" in the prostitution trade in the District, and he said he was confident that his arrest was effective in breaking up the alleged operation.