- Associated Press - Thursday, March 10, 2011

BALTIMORE (AP) — An actress who appeared on the HBO series “The Wire” was among more than 60 people arrested in an early morning drug raid in the Baltimore area, authorities said Thursday.

Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, 30, who played a killer of the same name on the hit television series, is among the dozens arrested in the raids carried out by Drug Enforcement Administration agents, Baltimore police and others, police said. Federal and local officials planned to announce the prosecution of a large Baltimore drug gang at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Local television showed video of Pearson being led by DEA agents from an apartment building downtown to a waiting police van. Police declined to say what charges she faces.

The raids were the result of a seven-month investigation of a heroin, cocaine and marijuana operation that spread from the east side of the city into the west and northwest and into the county, DEA Special Agent Edward Marcinko said. Many of those arrested will face conspiracy charges.

“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 and politicians. The character Snoop knocks off several people for the Stanfield drug gang and is killed herself in the last season by one of her targets.

This is 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 the trial of Steven Lashley, who was accused of stabbing three men, killing one, in an adult-entertainment district in downtown Baltimore called “The Block.”

The Baltimore Sun reported last year that after Pearson informed the parties that she would invoke her right against self-incrimination if forced to testify, Lashley pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and two counts of assault. Court records show Pearson was found not guilty on the drug charge.

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