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The Wire's Felicia 'Snoop' Pearson in guilty drugs plea

Felicia "Snoop" Pearson, right, and her attorney Benjamin C Sutley, outside a courthouse in Baltimore on Monday
Image caption Pearson appeared with her attorney outside the courtroom to say she had learned a lesson

Felicia "Snoop" Pearson, who played a drug-gang killer in the hit TV show The Wire, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute heroin in Baltimore.

The 31-year-old actor, who shares her nickname with her character from the show, received a seven-year suspended sentence with credit for time served.

Pearson was a real-life drug dealer when she was picked by producers of The Wire for the role.

She told reporters she is now moving to LA to act - and stay out of trouble.

"While I'm delighted to see you here, I don't want to see you again," Baltimore Circuit Judge Lawrence P Fletcher-Hill told Pearson, according to the Baltimore Sun.

The judge accepted the guilty plea on Monday, a day before Pearson's trial was set to begin.

According to charges read aloud in court, Pearson conspired with two others who bought heroin in bulk from New York to distribute in Baltimore, allowing them to use her apartment to keep drugs and money.

She was one of 64 people charged in March as part of the case.

The actress, who was caught on a wiretap in a case that echoed gritty drug-trafficking drama The Wire, also allegedly occasionally sold heroin herself.

Pearson could be sent back to conclude her seven-year sentence should she violate probation over the next three years.

Foster care

Outside the courtroom, attorney Benjamin Sutley said the plea would allow Pearson to continue her acting career, rather than spending time with the charges hanging over her.

"I can't say she would have been found not guilty," Mr Sutley said. But Pearson interrupted, saying "I would have been found not guilty."

Pearson was born to crack-addicted parents and went into the foster-care system before being adopted by an elderly couple.

In her autobiography, she describes dealing drugs at 12, and was convicted of second-degree murder when she was 14.

Her life was turned around when she landed a role in The Wire after meeting Michael K Williams, who played Omar on the show - but she "fell back in [with] people who essentially raised her" after the series ended in 2008, Mr Sutley was quoted as saying in court.

He told the judge she had learned a "valuable lesson".

Outside the courtroom, Pearson said she had two movie contracts in the works and had a plan to stay out of trouble in future.

"I'm moving to LA," she said, according to the Baltimore Sun.

"I'm out of here, man."

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