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March 10, 2011

Wire's 'Snoop' arrested in drug raids

The actress known as 'Snoop' from David Simon's The Wire was among 30 people arrested this morning in a series of raids by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, The Sun's Justin Fenton reports.

Baltimore police, DEA agents and other law enforcement authorities began the raids in the pre-dawn hours, hitting locations in the city and counties in connection with a suspected large-scale heroin operation.

Felicia 'Snoop' Pearson played a street-wise hit-man in the HBO series. As Fenton points out, Pearson "has a troubled past, having been convicted at age 14 of second-degree murder. More recently, she refused to testify as a witness at a murder trial and was arrested at her then-Northeast Baltimore home."

Here's a story on Pearson by The Sun's Tricia Bishop from May last year and a photo by Kim Hairston on Pearson getting arrested this morning:

Nearly five years after he stabbed three people outside a chicken joint on The Block in Baltimore, Steven James Lashley pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder and two counts of assault, agreeing to a 30-year prison term, with half of the time suspended.

City prosecutors had originally proposed a 25-year deal. They changed the offer shortly before trial, after their reluctant star witness - Felicia "Snoop" Pearson of the Baltimore-based crime drama "The Wire" - vowed to invoke a Fifth Amendment right to not testify if forced to take the stand.Police claim said Pearson, a crack-addicted baby convicted of second-degree murder as a teenager and given the role of a boyish hitwoman on the HBO series as an adult, was with Lashley the night of the stabbing.

She clearly was not inclined to testify against him. She failed to show up for an earlier 2008 trial date, leading a judge to issue a warrant for police to pick her up, and for police to charge her with marijuana possession after saying they found "plant material" while serving that warrant. Lashley's trial was postponed, as it would be for many more times, and Pearson was found not guilty of the possession charge.

A recent court affidavit suggested that she might testify that the incident, which allegedly occurred after she and Lashley got into an argument with the three victims, was self-defense. But she instead came into Baltimore Circuit Court on Wednesday morning with her attorney, who informed the parties that Pearson would invoke her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if made to testify.

A new plea deal, approved by the two surviving victims, was on the table for Lashley by the afternoon, a half-day before jury selection was set to begin. Court records show that the trial had been postponed 10 times before this.

With his family looking on, Lashley quietly pleaded guilty and listened as Assistant State's Attorney Amy Donze, who planned to prosecute the case with colleague David Grzechowiak, read a statement of facts into the record.

According to a police report, the victim - two brothers and their friend, Stanley Thomas Jr. - exchanged words with Pearson and Lashley inside a New York Fried Chicken restaurant. They had another encounter down the street, and Lashley stabbed all three of them. The brothers survived; Thomas did not.

Lashley's official sentencing was scheduled for June 2 to allow his family and the victims time to prepare statements.

Pearson's attorney, Bradley Goldbloom, said in a telephone interview afterward that his client is "happy that she is out of it at this point."
Posted by Peter Hermann at 8:02 AM | | Comments (5)


See, Bawlmore is like the Wire.

It's all in the game

Stay off North Ave

Bad day at Black Rock. That's a damn shame, such a talented young woman. But, she's been around long enough to know that there's no winners in the LIFE! I sincerely wish the sister well.

Baltimore city is a sewer that needs to be leveled.

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About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.

Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.

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