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Operation Fast and Furious

Imprisoned Rice Organization drug-gang chief says snitch was real leader

When The Wire was airing on HBO in the mid-2000s, telling complex tales of Baltimore's drug-driven shadow economy and its overlap with local politics, the real-life dramas of Baltimore's drug world were playing out in Wire-like fashion in the "Rice Organization," a violent, politically connected group that for years ran drugs while operating legitimate-looking businesses ("Wired," Mobtown Beat, March 2, 2005). The high-profile federal racketeering case against them resulted in lengthy prison sentences for many of its members, though one in particular-Eric Clash, now 34, who was described as a lieutenant in the group-got off lightly with a four-year sentence,...