Snoop from “The Wire” pleads not guilty to drug conspiracy

Back in March, we posted about the arrest of Felicia Pearson, the actress who played Snoop, a hitwoman in a Baltimore drug gang on the HBO series “The Wire.” Last week, the actress pleaded not guilty to drug conspiracy charges and requested a jury trial. The trial is tentatively scheduled for August 9.

Pearson, 31, was arrested in March along with more than 60 other individuals in a state and federal sting referred to as “Operation Usual Suspects.” The authorities believe she funded an extensive drug organization responsible for selling heroin and marijuana throughout the Baltimore area.

Originally, Pearson was held without bail after her arrest. However, in April a judge released her on $50,000 bond. The actress is now able to travel to Philadelphia for film work, but she is subject to electronic monitoring for that purpose.

Pearson’s defense attorney voiced his belief in his client’s innocence. In a public statement, he announced that prosecutors had not presented “any facts … that show that [Pearson’s] guilty.”

Her lawyer is not the only person supporting her. Early on, David Simon, creator of “The Wire,” said he believed this was a case of guilt by association. He claimed the actress deserved the benefit of the doubt and noted the war on drugs had devolved into “war on the underclass.”

When someone is charged with conspiracy, the defendant is accused of planning a drug offense with someone else. A defendant does not have to actually commit the crime to be charged with conspiracy. All prosecutors look for is evidence that the defendant played a role in the offense. This means even someone who had only a peripheral role in a drug transaction can face the same charges as the leader.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, “‘Wire’ actress ‘Snoop’ Pearson pleads not guilty in drug case,” Tricia Bishop, 17 May 2011