“Wire” Actress Plans To Plead Guilty In Drug Case

An actress who played a Baltimore drug gang assassin in HBO's "The Wire" is expected to plead guilty Monday in a drug conspiracy case.

Felicia "Snoop" Pearson, 31, is scheduled to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy to distribute heroin, a day before her trial was set to begin, attorney Benjamin C. Sutley said.

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Pearson was one of 64 people charged in March in "Operation Usual Suspects," a joint state-federal prosecution of an alleged east Baltimore drug gang. The federal indictment states that since 2008, members of the conspiracy bought heroin from New York and marijuana from California and sold the drugs on the streets of Baltimore. As part of the conspiracy, the indictment alleges,members discussed how those who failed to perform required tasks were dealt with violently.

Pearson did not play a significant role in the alleged conspiracy under scrutiny, and she decided to enter the plea to rid herself of the burden of dealing with the charges, Sutley said.

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"More than anything she wanted to close this matter and move on," Sutley said.

The attorney said Pearson was familiar with some people involved in the wider case — not necessarily her co-defendants — who helped take care of Pearson when she was a teen.

"She learned a valuable lesson about how some loyalties you keep and others drag you down," Sutley said. He expected Pearson to receive probation and he planned to ask the judge to allow her to travel out of the state to pursue her acting career.

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"The Wire," which ran from 2002 to 2008, was filmed in Baltimore and put a spotlight on the city's struggle with poverty and drug violence through the stories of the city's police, drug organizations, schools, politicians and media. Pearson's character, which shares the nickname "Snoop," knocks off several people for the fictitious Stanfield drug gang.

This was not Pearson's first brush with the law. She was convicted of second-degree murder in a slaying committed when she was 14. She served five years of an eight-year sentence and was released in 2000. Pearson was arrested on a minor drug charge in 2008 when police went to her home to pick her up for refusing to cooperate as a witness in a murder trial. She was found not guilty.

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Copyright 2011 by Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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