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The Wire's Snoop spars with judge, gets no bail

Felicia "Snoop" Pearson, the high-profile capture from Thursday's sweeping drug bust, battled with a Baltimore judge today in her first court appearance since being charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin.

[Read about Pearson's troubled history]

Here's one exchanged with Judge John Addison Howard, after a prosecutor accused her of helping to bankroll the suspected drug organization (photo of Pearson at left is by The Sun's Kim Hairston).

“I have no money,” she told Judge John Addison Howard. “Check my bank account. I have no money.”

When the prosecutor argued that Pearson travels frequently for her job, the 30-year-old actress angrily shot back, “How can I go anywhere? Everybody knows my name.”

Howard answered that is the precise reason for holding her without bail. “You are a good actress. … Everybody knows your name. People change names. They also can …”

Pearson interrupted: “I can’t change my face.”

“Well, you can change your appearance,” the judge responded. “I’ve seen the episodes of The Wire in which you appear. You look very different than you do here today, and I’m not talking about the jumpsuit, I’m talking about your general appearance.”

More details, and the response from her lawyer, Paul W. Gardner:

Gardner disputed the state’s allegations that his client funded even part of a drug organization. “I find that not credible,” he said. “I can tell you, that’s not her composite makeup. That’s not what she’s about. Any money she would have goes right back into paying her bills and finding her next lead. That’s what she’s focused on.”

Some more details of the case:

More than 450 law enforcement officers raided 39 locations and arrested people charged both federally and by the state. On Friday, a steady-stream of defendants marched through the two courthouses, many being remanded to custody to await trial. Additional bail hearings are scheduled for next week.

The full scope of the alleged organization has yet to be revealed. Nearly all of the suspects were indicted by grand juries and thus there is no statements of probable cause that details the charges. The people brought into state court had bails pre-set, and because they were indicted, they were brought immediately into Circuit Court.

At a news conference on Thursday, authorities outlined a five-month investigation that concentrated on sales and distribution at Latrobe Homes in East Baltimore. They said dealers were active from June 2008 — the year of Pearson’s last appearance on The Wire — through March of this year, and that they used suppliers in New York and California.

All were charged either by state or federal grand juries with conspiracy to distribute heroin and marijuana, possession of heroin and with aiding and abetting a drug organization. On March 3, a week before the drug raids were planned, police arrested two of the alleged conspirators.

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