Judge troubled by allegations of dirty cops

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Ocean Fleming, Photo: Nevada Department of Corrections

A Clark County judge says allegations of police misconduct in a case that sent a convicted pimp to prison for life are “very troubling.”

Judge Michael Villani sent Ocean Fleming to prison in 2012 based, in part, on the testimony of witnesses who now contend they were coached and coerced by then-Metro Vice Detectives Chris Baughman and Al Beas, and prosecutor Liz Mercer.  The allegations are at the heart of a four-year-long FBI investigation into alleged police corruption, a probe that has resulted in sweeping changes in Metro’s vice department, according to Sheriff Joe Lombardo.    

Tuesday, Villani sentenced Fleming again, on a negotiated plea deal that throws out the previous sentence and could put Fleming before the Parole Board this year, according to his attorney, Janiece Marshall.  

Special prosecutor Adam Gill, who was appointed after District Attorney Steven Wolfson recused his office because of the conflict posed by Mercer, told the judge that Fleming has not shown any remorse for his victims.

But Marshall said her client has used the seven years he’s been behind bars to “address the underlying problems that caused him to get where he is today, to do the things that he admitted before that he did.”

Asked by Judge Villani if he had anything to say, Fleming said he hadn’t planned to speak but told the court he wanted to accept responsibility for what he did.  

“I respect my lawyer  She fought hard for me, more than anyone ever fought for me in my life.” Fleming said of Marshall. “But I don’t know what he’s talking about in terms of Mr. Gill.  I did plead guilty because I know I’m guilty. I didn’t come in here and try to bash Baughman or Beas or Liz Mercer or throw nobody under the bus because I know what I did.”  

“It’s been seven years.  I don’t want to throw Baughman or anybody else involved in this.  But I knew them, I knew Detective Baughman and Beas years before this case even started.  I know too much. And that’s just the bottom line to it,” Fleming added cryptically.

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.

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