Baltimore man who claims to have inspired 'The Wire' was fired from Safe Streets, faces federal charges

The Baltimore man who claims to have inspired HBO's "The Wire" and was arrested on federal drug and gun charges last month had been a mediator for a program aimed at stamping out violence on the city's streets until recently.

Nathan "Bodie" Barksdale worked for Safe Streets, a city Health Department program in which former criminals help rid the streets of the violent crime they once perpetuated, until being fired last month, the program's Mondawmin site director Delaino Johnson said.

Barksdale had been successful in the program, Johnson said, but he was terminated after not showing up to work on Nov. 25, the same week he was arrested.

The Drug Enforcement Agency said Barksdale didn't cease his role as a drug boss as he has long claimed, but was instead a high-ranking official of the Black Guerrilla Family. He was arrested last month on heroin and gun charges.

Johnson, who has worked at the site since June, said he wasn't sure how long Barksdale had worked for Safe Streets, but he said Barksdale had started before him.

"He was very impactful in that area because of who he was," Johnson said.

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