Eddie Lee Anderson, whom prosecutors described as a pimp with a traveling caravan of young prostitutes, was sentenced yesterday to 15 years in prison for violating federal laws that prohibit the interstate transportation of women for immoral purposes.
Anderson, 28, known as "Fast Eddie," also was fined $15,000 by U.S. District Judge John Garrett Penn, who upbraided him for "prey ing on young women."
A jury here convicted Anderson in mid-October on 10 counts of transporting minors for purposes of prostitution, nine counts of interstate transportation of women for prostitution, and one count of inducing prostitution.
Of the 12 women involved, five were younger than age 18, including one who started working as a prostitute for Anderson when she was 14 years old and two who started at age 15, according to testimony during the month-long trial.
"I would like you to give me a second chance," Anderson urged Penn before sentencing yesterday. "Everyone deserves a second chance in life."
But in a memorandum filed in court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore A. Shmanda said Anderson had crisscrossed the country as a pimp for almost five years, maintaining a "high-rolling life style from the earnings of these young women."
Penn noted that even though most of the women were teen-age runaways who had taken up prostitution before they met Anderson, "you did have a considerable hold on them psychologically through punishment and through dependence on you . . . . When some left, you made every effort to bring them back to your fold and in most cases you were successful."
During the trial, five women described working as prostitutes for Anderson and turning over their earnings of $300 to $400 a night to support his lavish life style that included a new Cadillac or Lincoln Continental almost every year and thousands of dollars in jewelry.
Shmanda introduced as evidence Anderson's jewelry, black mink coat, and red and black satin jackets with "Fast Eddie" emblazoned on the lapels. In his defense, Anderson described himself as a free-wheeling gambler, not a pimp, and said that "the young ladies hung around with me basically because I was winning at gambling."
According to police and prosecutors, Anderson, who was arrested in Las Vegas in May, had operated prostitution rings there, and in Atlantic City, Miami and D.C.
Yesterday, defense attorneys Charles F. Stow and William J. Garber asked for a light sentence because the women with whom Anderson traveled were not "innocents who had to be enticed into this way of life" and the men who patronized them did so voluntarily.
But Penn said Anderson had "contributed to the delinquency of these girls" and added to the anguish of their parents.
Under federal guidelines, Anderson will be eligible for parole after serving five years in prison. His lawyers said that he will appeal.