The Wire

Anton Artis

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Anton "Stinkum" Artis was a lieutenant and enforcer in the Barksdale crew.


"Stinkum" was one of five prominent enforcers of the Barksdale Organization. He is depicted as a crude and detached young man, evident by the casual and excited way he prepared for his murder targets and conversations with his peers. Stinkum was one of the upper-tier members present during D'Angelo Barksdale's court case to intimidate anyone in the courtroom looking to cause complications or trouble.

Stinkum was responsible for making re-supplies from the Barksdale Organization's primary base of operations in the Franklin Towers to their secondary territory in the low-rise projects, known as "The Pit". Because of his loyalty and reliability, he was promoted by Avon Barksdale to a lieutenant. He was trustworthy enough to be later actively invited and involved in the organization's meetings, with Avon, second-in-command Russell "Stringer" Bell, and Roland "Wee-Bey" Brice.

As the police's investigation of the Barksdale Organization progressed, Stinkum proved to be a focus of the detail's case. The unit amassed much evidence of him performing various illegal acts. The police had a chance to catch him in the act when they seized one of his organized re-up's from his subordinate Kevin Johnston, but the detail ultimately allow Stinkum to go free to avoid arousing suspicion from the Barksdale Organization about their surveillance methods.

Soon after, Stinkum found himself the center of attention during a party held for his promotion. He and his fellow gangsters indulged in their vices, with Wee-Bey accidentally killing a woman while both under the influence of drugs.

During one of his re-ups to The Pit, Stinkum was robbed by gunpoint by legendary stick-up man Omar Little. This act intensified Stinkum's hate for Omar, which was expressed in his eventual involvement in the brutal retaliation murder of Omar's boyfriend, Brandon Wright. Largely due to the young Barksdale dealer Wallace and his efforts, Brandon was located and Stringer was notified while looking for new territory. Stringer promptly ordered execution, and sent the ruthless working trio of Wee-Bey, Marquis "Bird" Hilton and Stinkum himself to kill Brandon. The three captured him, initially pretending to be undercover cops. They proceeded to brutally physically torture Brandon in an attempt to get him to reveal Omar's location, but after receiving no information, he is presumed to have died from his numerous wounds during said torture. The trio grotesquely mutilated his body and left it in a nearby project backyard for all of the local residents to see. They leave the body coincidentally outside the building where Wallace lives, who spots it the morning after. This act of murder additionally causes Wallace to feel an immense sense of guilt over his involvement in Brandon's death.

The Wire- Lessons episode- Anton Stinkum Antis

Stinkum was the second victim of Omar's crusade of revenge. After Bird was arrested and incarcerated, Wee-Bey and Stinkum were left as the chief enforcer lieutenants of the Barksdale crew. The duo were later seen preparing to later taking part in an ordered execution of Scar, a West Baltimore drug dealer. Scar's territory was targeted for takeover by the Barksdale Organization. Stinkum was specifically assigned to claim and run the territory. Stinkum expressed his wish for Bird to be present too, thinking his peer would "be loving this". The two watched Scar's crew in a car for a while before going ahead with the ambush.

Wee-Bey planned to hit Scar and his crew from behind while Stinkum sneaked up on their front, using the cars as cover. However, from a darkened doorway nearby, Omar shot Stinkum with his 12 gauge shotgun, giving Scar a temporary reprieve. Wee-Bey attempted to fire back but Omar shot him in the leg, wounding Wee-Bey significantly. Stinkum was shown dead on the street soon after, and Wee-Bey fled the scene.

Stinkum's murder undermines the case the Barksdale detail had built against his associates. Ultimately, no visible, successful or mentioned follow-up is made of his murder by the Baltimore Homicide Department.


Season 1 appearances
"The Target" * "The Detail" "The Buys" "Old Cases" "The Pager"
"The Wire" "One Arrest" "Lessons" "Game Day" "The Cost"
"The Hunt" "Cleaning Up" "Sentencing"

* - Uncredited appearance


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