“The Wire” Character Inspiration Admits Federal Drug Conspiracy Charges


Nathan “Bodie” Barksdale, who helped inspire drug-dealing characters in the TV series “The Wire,” pleaded guilty in federal court to heroin conspiracy charges, reports the Baltimore Sun. The reputed high-ranking Black Guerrilla Family member agreed to a plea deal that calls for 42 months in prison as a result of a wiretap investigation. Barksdale was a notorious criminal in the 1980s who led a violent heroin-dealing operation in a public housing development and was shot 20 times. In “The Wire,” drug dealer characters were named Avon Barksdale and Bodie Broadus.

Barksdale, 52, had been working with the city’s Safe Streets anti-violence program. His arrest along with that of another outreach worker prompted city Health Department officials to suspend the program. The Health Department said the site’s operations resumed last week, with increased training and new counseling opportunities for staff. “While Safe Streets has been shown via scientific studies to be extremely effective in mediating community situations and preventing escalations of violence, the issue of alleged behavior of certain individual staff members needs to be addressed,” the agency said in a statement.

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