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July 25, 2014

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Judge to notorious Las Vegas pimp: Blame yourself

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Leila Navidi

Ocean Fleming appears in court for sentencing, which was postponed, at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012.

Updated Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 | 4:51 p.m.

Audio Clip

  • 911 call by Fleming victim
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Convicted pimp Ocean Fleming condemned his hired attorney and called the prosecution “malicious and overaggressive” during his bid Tuesday morning for a more lenient sentence.

His last-minute argument didn’t work, though.

Clark County District Judge Michael Villani sentenced Fleming to life in prison with the possibility of parole after five years for first-degree kidnapping, one of 23 counts a jury convicted him of in August. The life sentence will begin after Fleming serves at least 10 years behind bars for other counts, such as pandering, coercion with force and assault with a deadly weapon.

“You need to blame yourself,” Villani told Fleming. “Your arrogance got you in this mess. You preyed upon women with low self-esteem; you manipulated them.”

Fleming’s fall from power — he was known as “O” on Las Vegas streets — began Sept. 29, 2011, when Metro Police arrested him after a violent episode involving a prostitute.

A day earlier, on Sept. 28, one of Fleming’s prostitutes, a young woman named April, fled a Rhodes Ranch neighborhood and desperately flagged down a neighbor backing out of her driveway, according to court records. April jumped into the woman’s car and begged for help, but Fleming blocked them in the driveway — threatening to throw a large rock through the window until the neighbor unlocked the car door. Fleming then dragged away April. (Hear the attached audio clip of the 911 call.)

Police arrested Fleming the next day and found April two days later. April — who, according to court records, was trying to escape Fleming’s control — had recent visible injuries, such as a swollen eye and cut on her forehead, when detectives found her at a Las Vegas home.

The ongoing investigation revealed an operation run by Fleming, who bragged about turning young women into high-earning prostitutes who surrendered their money to him, according to court records. Authorities say he used violence and fear to control the women he pandered.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Mercer implored Villani to sentence Fleming, who has a prior felony conviction, to the harshest sentence, life in prison with parole eligibility after 22 years. Mercer said it was a matter of ensuring community safety and deterring other would-be pimps.

“Quite frankly, the defendant just simply deserves it,” Mercer said. “What he did over the course of several years is absolutely reprehensible.”

Fleming addressed the judge next, reading from a series of handwritten notes he held while shackled at his hands and feet. The defendant called himself a “sacrificial lamb” for authorities’ agenda to curb sex trafficking, arguing the incident involving April was a domestic dispute, not a kidnapping.

Fleming also levied blame upon his hired attorney, Robert Draskovich, regarding the outcome of his case.

“I felt like I was led to a minefield with a blindfold,” said Fleming, who plans to file an appeal.

Draskovich urged the judge to impose a more proportionate sentence than the one proposed by the prosecution, which he said painted Fleming as “the root of all evil.”

Draskovich also asked Villani for permission to withdraw as Fleming’s counsel going forward.

After the sentencing hearing, Draskovich rejected Fleming’s accusations but said he was pleased with the outcome.

“Under the circumstances, I feel the judge followed our argument and imposed a lesser sentence,” he said, referring to parole eligibility after five years for the life sentence.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Noreen DeMonte, who prosecuted the case with Mercer, said she was glad Villani took the case seriously and imposed a stiff sentence.

“We’re very happy with this sentence — very, very happy,” DeMonte said.

This version clarifies how long Fleming must serve before he is eligible for parole.

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  1. 5 years for 1st degree kidnapping? WTF?

  2. Prison won't stop a pimp. You can take away time, his money, his cars, and even his stable, but he'll get it all back. But there is one thing you can take from a pimp to keep him out of the game permanently. His genitals. Pimps use rape as a tool to break in women, as well as to keep them in line. If we start physically castrating them, they can't victimize any more. And they also loose any and all respect from other men and women. Don't kill them. Take their manhood away from them to live out a life of pain and embarrassment for themselves, and let them serve as a warning for others.

  3. The Metro Vice unit has been in massive neglect of duty. This is one reason I got fired---for trying to focus on their absolutely pathetic enforcement over the last several years.

    Why is Talesha Jamerson stabbed dead at Bally's before she even turned 20 and what was done to her pimp?

    Why did Tariq C. kidnap and torture and rape and the case went nowhere?

    How about the pimp Ervin M. with 22 kids (or more by now)?

    Why isn't Vice claiming credit for Fleming and Sharpe? Probably because the case were put together by other detectives.

    There is an unreal potential for corruption-why else would they ignore a $100,000 watch theft on video by Amy K!

    Lt. Hughes and Sgt. 'Hates' have the same record getting officers fired as they have convicting pimp predators

    Once Gillespie is voted out...it will be time for some transparency in Vice and Metro...and for some indictments.

  4. Fleming has been a stain for many years and more than deserves this sentance. I remember one incident when he pulled a gun on security in the pkng lot when Fleming was beating/kidnapping a working girl. After pointing the gun he got into his vehicle and drove off. Don't remember metro doing much of anything on that.

    I knew Norm Jahn when I worked on The Strip and he was one of the best officers that worked there. He was always active in trying curb the prostitution. While I always got along with vice, I also saw them pay lip service to information he had given them.

    I agree Norm, it'll be a good day when Gillespie goes away. Hopefully we get someone worth a darn to run for Sheriff.

  5. All he had to do is subject himself to government regulation and incorporate as an escort service and he'd be living in a penthouse loft downtown instead of washing his cellmate's sox.

  6. All the King's horses and all the King's men could not put Humpty-dumpty back together again.

    Mr. O you are broken and only you are to blame for your choices.

  7. Too bad the sentencing wasn't done by 9.....mm.

  8. well said Bob635!!!!