Marlo Stanfield
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Marlo Stanfield

The Wire

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About Him

Living… in West Baltimore, where he’s a rising star in the local drug trade. Of course, this is bad news for Avon Barksdale, who runs West Baltimore’s incumbent drug operation. Selling drugs is a zero-sum game; if one man attains power, another must relinquish it.

Profession… head of the Stanfield drug organization. Marlo employs hyper-aggressive expansion tactics to take Barksdale’s corners, and he won’t stop until he is West Baltimore’s sole distributor of drugs. A man of few words, Marlo prefers to let his actions do the talking. His inner circle consists of his chief enforcers, Chris Partlow and Snoop Pearson. Marlo orders murders like tempura at a sushi restaurant, and Chris and Snoop carry them out without question.

Interests… power and authority. Marlo seeks to consolidate power not simply as a means to an end, like money or women, but as its own end.

Relationship Status… single. Marlo will be celibate if that’s what it takes to make it to the top. When a woman named Devonne tries to seduce him, he has Chris and Snoop track her movements, and sure enough they discover that she is working for Barksdale. That will almost certainly be the last mistake Devonne ever makes.

Challenge… winning the war against the Barksdale organization. In an effort to slow Marlo’s territorial advancements, Barksdale’s right-hand man Stringer Bell arranges a meeting with Marlo to convince him to join the New Day Co-Op, an association of Baltimore drug dealers meant to reduce drug-related violence. Marlo turns him down – he would prefer to settle the matter by force rather than diplomacy. A war of attrition, it will be.

Personality… ruthless and Machiavellian. Marlo never smiles or laughs. One would think that Marlo is a psychopath if not for the fact that he is extremely cautious when it comes to protecting himself – he never talks on the phone, and almost always lets Chris and Snoop delegate and carry out his dirty work. He values his reputation, and won’t let anyone tarnish it. “Marlo step to [anyone],” he says. “Omar, Barksdale, whoever. My name is my name!

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