Life imitated art recently after your favorite lezzzbun drug dealer Felicia “Snoop” Pearson was arrested in a major drug bust.
Pearson, 30, best known for her role on the HBO series “The Wire” (a dramatic series about the drug game in Baltimore) has been charged with conspiring to sell heroin and was one of dozens arrested in early morning raids across Baltimore.
Snoop is among 64 people charged in a joint state-federal prosecution of a large east Baltimore drug gang and has been charged in state court with conspiring with two men to distribute heroin and aiding and abetting.
Local television cameras captured raw footage of federal agents leading Pearson from an apartment building downtown to a waiting police van. She was one of 37 people arrested by about 450 federal, state and local officers early yesterday morning.
This is not the first time Pearson has been in trouble with the law. In fact, in a weird twist, it was a young life of crime that brought her to TV in the first place.
Check out the raw video footage of Pearson’s arrest + details about Person’s drug ridden past below:
Twenty-two face state charges and 15 are charged in a federal indictment unsealed Thursday with conspiracy to distribute drugs and possession with intent to distribute. A 38th person arrested earlier this month was charged in a federal criminal complaint. Authorities are still looking for the remaining 26 people charged.
The 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 neighborhoods. As part of the conspiracy, the indictment alleges that members discussed who failed to perform required tasks were dealt with violently.
Officers seized $69,000, four guns, marijuana and heroin in “Operation Usual Suspects,” which built on hundreds of hours of investigation dating back to 2008, Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld said.
“People might say, ‘From 2008, what took you so long?'” Bealefeld said. “We want to build good, solid prosecutions.”
The federal Drug Enforcement Agency’s approach is to work with local officials to target the source of the drugs to have an impact and that’s just what they did in this case, said DEA Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis.
The arrests make a section of the city safer and should be a reminder to other “bad guys” out on the streets of Baltimore that police are watching, Bealefeld said.
“They’re going out a doing shootings and murders and robbing innocent people across our city,” he said. “You got our attention and we’re going to put together a big anvil and drop it on your head.”
Author Stephen King once referred to Pearson’s character as “the most terrifying female villain to ever appear in a television series.” While true, that observation only tells half the story.
Born only three pounds to a crack-addict mother, Pearson soon found herself in the care of foster parents Cora and Levi Pearson.
Teresa Wiltz, who profiled Pearson in the Washington Post in 2007, argues that everything changed for her at 12 years old when Levi passed away.
“For a young kid who’d never met her biological family, a girl who was struggling with her attraction to other girls,” Wiltz writes, “her crew provided a sense of home.”
That crew was composed primarily of young dealers on the corner of Oliver and Montford, a street so lethal that former police officer and Wire producer Ed Burns once observed: “If all the dead people [killed] on Oliver Street could stand up, there wouldn’t be room for them.”
In 1996, Pearson was convicted of murder in the second degree after fatally shooting 15-year-old Okia Toomer, she was 14 years old at the time of her conviction.
When she wasn’t selling black-market dildos in prison, Pearson managed to earn her G.E.D. and was released after serving only six and a half years of her sentence. Four years later in a Baltimore night club, as the Washington Post explains, she caught the eye of actor Michael K. Williams (Omar from the show) who recommended she be cast for the role of the androgynous assassin “Snoop.” Observed Williams to Wiltz: “I got intoxicated with her. I saw her strength and her vulnerability.”
In the years since “The Wire” went off the air, Pearson published her memoirs, Grace After Midnight: A Memoir, recounts her triumph over the poverty that ravaged her childhood in the same Baltimore projects immortalized in the HBO series.
She has also appeared in a rap video by Tony Yayo and even landed a bit part in the forthcoming film “Criminal Empire for Dummies,” so this is an unwelcome return to the headlines.
The latest turn in Pearson’s story is a painful reminder that real life can be worse. Check out Snoop’s last scene on “The Wire”…