Felicia "Snoop" Pearson gave one of the best performances in HBO's The Wire in part because she grew up around the Baltimore streets the show portrayed. Newly found recordings of her on a real police wiretap don't exactly evoke her ruthless television character.
When police arrested Pearson as part of a heroin-trafficking operation about a year ago, they used evidence collected on a wiretap to bust her and 62 others. Pearson pleaded guilty to the state drug charges and got a suspended, seven-year sentence. Now federal authorities are pressing their case against other defendants in the operation and among the 300 pages of documents they recently entered into evidence, the Baltimore Sun found conversations with Pearson herself.
Unlike the "most terrifying female villain to ever appear in a television series" (per Stephen King), Pearson sounds like someone out to help her old friends. Pearson admitted in her plea to letting a friend and his heroin stay with her, and prosecutors in the federal case allege "high-level dealers directed people who needed help ... to Pearson to get money," the Sun reported. Elsewhere in the story, we learn a little more about Pearson's role as benefactor: "Police say in the documents that Pearson — known as 'Dogg' on the street — was the go-to person for those in trouble..." The Sun excerpted some of her dialogue from the raw documents, which you can imagine Snoop intoning in her soft but no-nonsense voice:
"I'm [expletive] up in the head man I can't even get to the jungle or nothing," she tells a New York supplier, and she admitted in court to letting the old friend stay at The Redwood and store heroin in her apartment. "I'm trying to get me some 'ew-we.'"
Prosecutors said the dealer apologized for sending someone in his place to handle the transaction:
"Naw, cause I was trying to tell this [expletive] to get to you," the dealer says, according to the transcript in the court documents. "But I ain't even want to go through that for real, for real."
"Yea, those, yea I'm glad you didn't go through for real," Pearson answers. "Aight, just hit me."
Check out this Snoop highlight reel for a reminder of her cadence:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.