Murder victim worked for city, once connected to drug kingpin

A 54-year-old man gunned down last week in East Baltimore had been employed for the past decade as a city public works employee, and his past ties to one of the city's biggest drug dealers have authorities braced for retaliation after his killing. 

Gregory Parker was fatally shot Friday afternoon in the 2300 block of E. Chase St. Records show Parker was employed by the city's Department of Public Works since 2001 and worked as a solid waste driver, and according to court records he had not run afoul of the law except for a 2009 assault charge that was dropped.

Before that, Parker served more than 12 years in federal prison after being convicted in 1986 for his role in a multimillion dollar heroin ring in East Baltimore controlled by Clarence Meredith, a one-time partner of Maurice D. "Peanut" King.

According to reports at the time, Meredith rebuilt King's organization after the kingpin was convicted in 1982, and became known as "Magic" for evading prosecution and re-estbalishing himself as a major drug figure. Parker was one of several "lieutenants" to Meredith who were convicted that year, prosecutors said. 

Meredith, according to the Bureau of Prisons, is scheduled to be released from confinement in July.

Sources say Parker, whose listed address is in Northeast Baltimore, was believed to still be connected to drug activity in East Baltimore, though a motive for his killing remains unclear. Parker was shot more than a dozen times on the sidewalk in the middle of the afternoon and police have not made any arrests.

A woman who said she was a relative of Parker declined to comment. 

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