The man who became the inspiration for multiple characters in the television show “The Wire” recently entered a guilty plea in a pending federal criminal case against him. The man had been a former high-ranking member in the Black Guerrilla Family, and he was arrested on drug charges. The man accepted a plea deal, and in exchange for a guilty plea, he will only be required to serve 42 months in prison in Maryland.
The man became notorious in the 1980s, when he apparently ran a violent heroin operation in which he was shot over 20 times and survived. He subsequently claimed that he was no longer in the drug business, and he wanted to work with Maryland’s Safe Streets program. The Safe Streets program helps to mediate community situations and attempts to prevent violence from escalating. It has been found to be highly effective.
However, the investigating officers suspected that the man was not out of the drug business, and they believed that he was using the Safe Streets program to facilitate his new heroin operation in Maryland. Through a wiretap operation in November, the DEA arrested the man on allegations of purchasing large quantities of heroin. Since the man just recently accepted the plea deal, he is not expected to be formally sentenced until April.
For someone arrested for allegedly purchasing such large quantities of heroin, a 42 month prison sentence for his conviction with regard to the drug charges appears to be a very favorable result. The details of the plea negotiations are not mentioned within the report; however, they clearly seem to have been in the man’s favor. Regardless of whether an accused individual is offered a plea deal, all defendants have the right to pursue the criminal defense that the person feels is in his or her best interests.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, Barksdale, “Wire” inspiration, pleads guilty in drug case, Justin Fenton, Jan. 15, 2014
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