A man who claims to have been the inspiration for feared gang leader Avon Barksdale on HBO's "The Wire" has reportedly been arrested on drug and gun charges.
Nathan “Bodie” Barksdale was held on federal gun and heroin charges last month, Drug Enforcement Agency spokesman Edward Marcinko told The Baltimore Sun newspaper.
The real-life Barksdale was described by Marcinko as a high-ranking member of the “Black Guerrilla Family” crime gang.
Barksdale, 52, has long claimed to be the inspiration for the character in the groundbreaking HBO series and went on to produce, “The Avon Barksdale Story: Legends of the Unwired” based on his life. He claimed to be the "real" Avon Barksdale in the trailer.
"With 'The Wire' the way they show it, the way I feel about that is they made money off my story, off my trouble, off my pain," Barksdale told Baltimore’s City Paper in 2009.
David Simon, who created "The Wire," has rejected the notion that Barksdale was the inspiration for the show’s character of the same name or another character named "Bodie." According to Simon, his creations were a composite of a number of people he’d known or reported on in West Baltimore.
Barksdale's mother, Emma Grier, told The Baltimore Sun she did not know anything about the charges and believed her son's life was back on track.
“He was working and everything,” she added. “He’s turned his life around.”