Laxalt’s chief investigator pursues case against daughter’s former pimp

Before Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt named Roland Swanson as his Chief Investigator in 2015, Swanson, according to his bio on the AG’s website, led investigations for the FBI’s public integrity unit in Las Vegas.  Now, his office is involved in the prosecution of convicted pimp Kobe Hogue, who happens to be the former boyfriend and pimp of Swanson’s daughter, Hannah.

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Hannah Swanson, Facebook

In 2010, then- Centennial High School student Hannah Swanson became a prostitute, her mother says, at the insistence of Hogue, her classmate and boyfriend.   Hannah’s eventual arrest on solicitation charges prompted Hogue’s arrest and guilty plea for attempted pandering.  Hogue served a brief sentence.

Today Roland Swanson, who oversees investigations for the AG, including sex trafficking, is in charge of an investigator working to send Swanson’s daughter’s former pimp back to prison.

Swanson minimized his office’s involvement, noting the AG is not prosecuting Hogue.  But Swanson’s investigator Alwyn Pindar, wrote the state’s report used to oppose bail for Hogue.  Swanson refused to answer questions and hung up.

Swanson’s boss, Adam Laxalt, is running for governor.  He has declined to comment on whether he thinks the Hogue case poses a conflict for his chief investigator.

Hogue’s attorney, Jess Marchese, says he’s well aware of the potential conflict.

I can tell you at a bail hearing there were a dozen members of law enforcement present.  Eight got up. That never happens. You figure it out,” Marchese said in an interview.

Hogue is facing charges of sex trafficking of an adult and domestic battery by strangulation of the mother of his child.

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Kobe Hogue, Facebook

In the report presented to Las Vegas Justice Court, the Attorney General’s office writes the alleged victim, Rockelle Hart, began dating Hogue in 2015.

“He made her work 12 hours a day every day of the week, and gave her a quota of one thousand dollars a night for providing acts of prostitution.  Hart was told the minimum Hogue would accept was six hundred dollars a night, and he did not care how she got the money. If she did not make the quota Hogue would threaten to kick her out of the apartment where they lived. “

Marchese says he’s noticed involvement from the Attorney General’s office in sex trafficking cases only in the last few months and other courthouse observers say it’s rare.

An annual report mandated by the Legislature reveals how rare.  Despite a dedicated investigator and a legislative mandate to report prosecutions to lawmakers every six months, the AG has reported just two human trafficking convictions. One defendant pleaded guilty in 2015 to one count of coercion and received a suspended sentence and four months probation.  The other defendant, former UNLV football player Richard James Mapp, pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse, neglect or endangerment, according to the AG’s office. Mapp was alleged to have encouraged an underage person to engage in prostitution. He has yet to be sentenced. 

How many sex trafficking cases is the AG’s office involved in and who makes the decision to seek assistance from the state? We asked Metro and the AG’s office.  Both declined to answer.

The Attorney General’s office is also declining to comment on the FBI’s ongoing investigation of Metro’s Vice Department.  Sheriff Joe Lombardo has acknowledged the federal probe into allegations that some police are protecting pimps and targeting their competitors in exchange for money and favors.

Former Vice Detective Christopher Baughman is a target of the FBI investigation.

In Baughman’s book, Off the Street,  Andrea Swanson (whose new married name is Griffin)  recalls being informed by Baughman that her daughter had been arrested for prostitution.

“The devastating news came with a vow from Chris to not only save our daughter, but to hunt and destroy her pimp,” Andrea Swanson is quoted as saying in Baughman’s book.

In an interview with the Current, Andrea Griffin says she was unaware of her ex-husband’s current efforts involving Hogue.  She says her daughter, Hannah, is doing well.

Hogue is scheduled to appear in Las Vegas Justice Court for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

Tomorrow: Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melanie Tobiasson says pimps are targeting the daughters of cops and judges. Is she right?  The Current has some answers in an exclusive investigation.

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana is the mother of four adult children, three cats, three dogs and a cockatoo.

7 COMMENTS

  1. This is a really important story (and probable abuse of power), and it’s good reporting, but do there really need to be multiple pictures of Hannah Swenson in it? I don’t feel like it adds anything, and it seems ethically icky to put someone who was coerced into sex work as a kid on blast like that.

    • You’re right. While she was convicted as an adult, she was lured while a child. Not to excuse us, but those pictures were posted by her mother in previous stories. Thanks for the comment.

  2. You guys have a great story. Love how all the facts aren’t accurate still to this day. Why use my pictures and add onto a story from so long ago? This new case has nothing to do with me or my family.

  3. Nice work Dana. I’m still slack-jawed over the enormity of this and how brazen corrupted cops have been when such misconduct couldnt occur without the express knowledge of superiors and that would include Joe Lombardo and Doug Gillespie

  4. Although Hannah was convicted as an adult, she was and still is a victim of human trafficking and FELONY child abuse. Nearly all prostitutes that are not independent contractors are VICTIMS. For a thousand years, the same argument has been going on, “victimless crime” and NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE. Hannah’s name should be removed as well as her photos. THIS IS A CORRUPT CITY, COUNTY AND STATE WITH A FULL BUSLOAD OF CORRUPT OFFICIALS. The people of this community just returned the wolves that are the REAL predators back to power by voting them back into office. Your reporting excels, Dana, but I wonder with all the complaints I have filed rather anything will come if it. I notified dozens of reporters and not one ran a story. Mothers will keep weeping as the predators continue to prey on the vulnerable and the people keep putting the criminals that aid and abet human trafficking and drug dealing back in office.

    • Thanks, Mr. Harrison, for your thoughtful post. I used Hannah’s name because her mother had already publicly outed her, as you can see from the link in the story. I can’t speak for other reporters but I’m happy to take a look at your complaints. [email protected] Thanks again for your comment and for reading.

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