LAS VEGAS - Federal charges have been filed against a Las Vegas nurse suspected of being involved in an interstate prostitution ring.
The indictment of Julie Blevins was unsealed in Southern California, but the trail leads right back to Las Vegas, and is likely the first criminal charges to be filed in connection with an FBI investigation of police corruption.
Nothing in the indictment of Julie Blevins mentions prostitution or corruption or vice cops. In fact, you have to wade through mountains of corporate filings to find a connection between Blevins and her former boss, escort service kingpin Mally Mall. But, it's there, which means this is likely the first criminal charges to be brought in the long and complicated FBI investigation.
"I heard before this was unsealed there were two females who worked for Mally Mall who had been indicted," said defense attorney Janiece Marshall.
She says the news about sealed indictments in the FBI's vice cop investigation first surfaced via the prison grapevine.Her client, Ocean Fleming, is serving a life sentence after being busted years ago by star vice detective Chris Baughman and his pimp enforcement team.
Fleming has always claimed he was targeted by Baughman because a small number of vice cops were working for a rival in the sex trade, escort service owner Jamal Rashid, better known as Mally Mall.
"To know the cops were taking money to set him up and to know those cops are still walking around while he's been in prison for eight years and to know that Mally Mall who set him up hasn't served any time, hasn't done anything. So yeah, he's watching everything," Marshall said.
It's been four years since the public integrity unit of the FBI raided Mally Mall's Las Vegas home. Since then, agents have interviewed dozens of witnesses including Ocean Fleming, and -- possibly -- Mally Mall himself, but no charges have been filed, at least not in Nevada.
However, an indictment recently unsealed in California accuses a long-time Nevada woman, Julie Blevins, of multiple felony counts. Blevins was caught with 67 credit and debit cards that belong to other people, along with 1,500 pieces of allegedly stolen mail.
Blevins, whose married name is Wasserman, worked as a nurse in Las Vegas for the past five years. Before that, she spent 12 years as the general manager of an LLC that oversaw 15 corporate entities, all of them owned by Mally Mall.
The FBI suspects at least some of those companies were fronts for prostitution. And in that industry, fake and stolen credit cards are commonly used. Marshall says the identity theft charges could be a way to get Blevins to cooperate in a case against Mally Mall, or, more likely, to pressure Mally Mall into testifying against the police officers who allegedly accepted cash and sexual favors as payment for busting Mally Mall's competitors.
"It's not unusual, what we are seeing unfolding," Marshall said. "It's just taking a long time to unfold."
The big, looming question is -- why did the indictment get handed down in California instead of Nevada? We know that the FBI investigation lasted four years, and it's believed the case was wrapped up many months ago, but federal prosecutors here have yet to file any charges. Defense attorneys wonder if this was done to sidestep the Nevada prosecutors and get Mally Mall on board as a witness.
- I-Team: New evidence in alleged police corruption case
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- I-Team: Investigation of former vice detective could lead to new trials for convicted pimps
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