Melvin Williams – a gambling prodigy and mathematical genius – was a teenage legend in the card parlors, pool halls and back-alley crap games of North Baltimore. Comfortable with the highest stakes and seemingly impervious to pressure, “Little Melvin” drew the attention of the east coast organized crime bosses that controlled the drug trade who gave Melvin the heroin franchise for Baltimore.

Ed Burns, co-creator of the TV series ‘The Wire’ had a career as a Baltimore detective before becoming a TV producer. It took his task force years to track down and bust the Baltimore heroin kingpin. Much of that time, says Burns, was spent just trying to determine if Melvin actually existed.