Cocaine ring leader admits his rap group was a drug front

ldemer@adn.comAugust 23, 2013 

An Anchorage man admitted in federal court this week that he used a rap recording business to front a cocaine trafficking enterprise that imported large amounts of the drug into Anchorage and Fairbanks, and he's the final one to plead guilty among 14 in the ring, prosecutors said.

Terrance S. Fleming, 32, who also went by "Baydilla," "Fatboy" and "Rodney William Payne," pled guilty to drug conspiracy Thursday in U.S. District Court in Anchorage. Judge Ralph Beistline scheduled sentencing for Nov. 13. Fleming faces a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life.

Fleming admitted he was the leader and organizer of a conspiracy to bring in drugs from Nevada and Washington, according to the plea agreement. The case has been in the news for more than a year.

The drug conspiracy circled back around to the music. The drug dealers tried to hide their trafficking by claiming they were legitimate musicians or promoters, and their drug business generated money for the musical end, said Frank Russo, an assistant U.S. attorney who handled the case.

Fleming owned and ran the Anchorage-based rap and hip hop recording label known as Out Da Cutt or ODC Entertainment and also led a rap and hip hop group known as "UNDB," for Up North 'D' or Dope Boys. Members of the group posted videos on YouTube and performed in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

The videos, which Russo said were well done, often referred to a drug lifestyle.

"In some he even talks about 'I hope the feds don't get me,'" Russo said. "In the business we call that a clue. We figured we'd just start watching him after that."

The drug money paid for extravagant items including expensive cars and jewelry, prosecutors said. In the plea agreement, Fleming agrees to forfeit all that.

Among the items he is giving up are three old Chevys -- a 1970 jet-fueled Chevelle, a 1968 Malibu, and a 1987 Monte Carlo -- plus a 2009 Dodge Challenger. He's also forfeiting about $200,000 worth of jewelry including a white metal necklace with a "Baydilla" pendant, another one with a "King of Alaska" pendant, and a Breitling watch,.

Fleming admitted to arranging for shipments of between 50 and 150 kilograms of cocaine -- 110 to 330 pounds -- to Alaska between 2009 and 2012, the plea agreement said.

That's an unprecedented amount, Russo said.

"We've never had someone admit to distributing that much cocaine in Alaska," the prosecutor said. His suppliers were arrested last month, and his codefendants already have pleaded guilty. "He started to see the walls closing in on him."

Fleming was indicted in August 2012 and arrested in an Atlanta suburb.

Back in 2001, a Terrance Fleming, then age 20, was shot in the arm in a drive-by shooting at a Fourth of July barbecue, according to a Daily News story from the time. People at the barbecue told police they had no idea why anyone would want to shoot Fleming. He was hit by a large-caliber round from a semi-automatic handgun, police said at the time.

In January 2012, one of the largest drug busts ever in Alaska resulted in the seizure of 12 kilograms of cocaine that became part of the case. A detective watched as a red duffel bag holding what later tested positive for cocaine was handed over in the parking lot of the Fred Meyer on Abbott Road.

Seven members of the conspiracy already have resolved their cases with sentences between six months and 66 months.

In addition to Fleming, six others have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Reach Lisa Demer at ldemer@adn.com or 257-4390.

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