A Las Vegas man who admitted to flying three women to Anchorage and advertising them as sex workers will spend a year-and-a-half behind bars following his sentencing this month.
Brandon "Mickey Vegas" Gadson, 32, pleaded guilty in November to one count of traveling across state lines to promote prostitution in 2010, according to federal court records. On Friday, Judge Sharon Gleason handed down Gadson's sentence: 18 months.
According to the plea agreement, Gadson paid cash for plane tickets for himself and three women -- one of them, the youngest, was 19 -- to fly from Las Vegas to Anchorage in July 2010. Gadson posted ads on Craigslist.org and Backpage.com offering the women "as available for commercial sex acts" and included their pictures, the plea agreement says.
Undercover police officers saw the ads and conducted a sting operation. The officers met the women at the Howard Johnson hotel in downtown Anchorage and arrested them and another man helping Gadson within an hour of starting the sting, according to a written statement by federal prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney's Office. Nearby, the officers found and arrested Gadson, who was carrying about $10,000 in cash; the women either had no money or small amounts of cash on them, the prosecutors said. At some point during the investigation, the 19-year-old accused Gadson of hitting her in the head with a cellphone, the plea agreement says.
"Judge Gleason found that Gadson was a longtime trafficker, essentially living off of women, and so proud of his conduct that he had the word 'Pimp' tattooed on the side of his neck," the prosecutors wrote.
Gadson denied hurting the woman in his own court filings, in which he also said he was merely aiding them in their chosen careers. According to Gadson's sentencing memorandum, he never forced or "seduced" anyone into becoming a prostitute. One of the women was a former lover whose income Gadson enjoyed, the memorandum says.
"He also helped her. He is not proud of that fact, and indeed, he is ashamed of it," the memo says. "Looking back, he is amazed that he allowed himself to fall so far. He sincerely rues his decisions and actions."
Another of the three women was in a romantic relationship with Gadson at the time of the memorandum's filing, it says. If Gadson and the woman had not been jailed, they would be busy planning their wedding, the memorandum says.
In that case and with the other women, Gadson and the women had "voluntarily entered" into "mutually beneficial associations," Gadson's sentencing memorandum says.
"Thus, at no time has Gadson functioned as a traditional pimp. Rather he provided assistance to working women who voluntarily chose that lifestyle," the memo says.
Reach Casey Grove at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4589.