'Pimp Of The Year' Sentenced To 23 Years In Prison

(AP) NEW YORK A man who touted himself as "Pimp of the Year" was sentenced Friday to more than 23 years in federal prison.

Matthew "Knowledge" Thompkins pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to transport minors to engage in prostitution and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.

Authorities said that the Bronx, N.Y., man had prostitutes working for him in New York; Atlantic City; Las Vegas; Philadelphia; Youngstown, Ohio, and other cities.

When he was arrested in December 2005, authorities found two huge trophies in his home proclaiming him "Pimp of the Year."

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson asking for leniency, Thompkins, 37, wrote that at times he and the prostitutes who worked for him -- some of them as young as 14 -- "bonded as a family."

Wolfson was unmoved. She gave him nearly the maximum sentence.

"You wouldn't send your sister or your daughter out to do that," she said. "That's no family."

One former prostitute, Melissa Smith, spoke at the sentencing, saying she was practically a slave.

"If he gets out, I know he'll do it again," she said. "That's all he ever talks about -- pimping and ho-ing."

A Thompkins associate, Demetrius Lemus, 37, of Bronx, N.Y., also was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison.

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