A major bust of a heroin trafficking ring in Baltimore was one of the largest and most successful in the state's history. According to police, the recent sweep resulted in the arrest of 38 people, and a total of 64 people are named as defendants in the drug trafficking case.
This case has received a lot of attention for two reasons, the first being that it was such a large success for police. The second reason is that one of the defendants in the case is a young woman who achieved fame for her role on the HBO series "The Wire."
The actress played a drug-dealing gangster on the television series, which was set in Baltimore. In a case of life imitating art the Baltimore native now faces charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin.
The actress was among the 38 people arrested during the recent sweep, and she is one of 22 people facing state charges in the drug bust. According to court documents, the alleged drug trafficking ring started in 2008. Since that time, police say the group has been importing heroin and marijuana from other states and redistributing it in Baltimore.
Court documents allege that police have an audio recording of the young actress contributing a large amount of money to fund the drug trafficking operations. However, her attorney notes that even with her acting success she did not have the funds to make such a large contribution.
This is a case where the woman's celebrity status and her previous criminal record may have unjustly convicted her in the public's mind. Before starring in "The Wire," the girl was convicted of second-degree murder when she was just 14 years old. She served 5 years and was released in 2000.
The actress was also arrested on a minor drug charge in 2008, but those charges were found to be unwarranted and they were later dropped. Nonetheless, her previous troubles with the law may be a detriment to her in this case.
It is important to remember that our justice system presumes innocence until someone is convicted by jury of her peers. Accusations are not the same as guilt, and this woman's high-profile status have confused the issue in many people's minds.
There will likely be many important updates in this large drug trafficking case. We will post news on this blog as it becomes available.
Source: Google News, "'Wire' actress shocked by Baltimore drug charges," Associated Press, 12 March 2011