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The Wire

Nathan Barksdale, partial inspiration for 'The Wire' character Avon, dies in federal prison

Nathan Barksdale, partial inspiration for 'The Wire' character Avon, dies in federal prison

Nathan Barksdale, the former Baltimore gangster who inspired characters in "The Wire," died in a federal medical prison in North Carolina on Saturday. He was 54.

Barksdale, who went by the nickname "Bodie," was a notorious Baltimore criminal in the 1980s, running a violent heroin-dealing operation. He was shot more than 20 times and had to have his right leg amputated below the knee.

He later worked with the anti-violence Safe Streets program. But he was arrested in 2014 and pleaded guilty to taking part in another heroin conspiracy with members of the Black Guerrilla Family gang.

Key characters on "The Wire," the gritty HBO drama set in...

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