Nathan "Bodie" Barksdale, inspiration and namesake for two of the most popular characters on "The Wire," died Saturday at 54, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Barksdale gained notoriety in the 1980s for leading a heroin distribution operation in Baltimore's Murphy Homes. After being shot 20 times and getting his right leg amputated at the knee, he spent time working on behalf of a anti-violence program called Safe Streets. In 2014, he pled guilty to participating in a heroin conspiracy and was incarcerated in a North Carolina federal medical prison.

Though Barksdale's name provided the inspiration for two prominent "The Wire" characters -- West Baltimore kingpin Avon Barksdale and dealer Bodie Broadus -- he was not a direct model for them or any other character on the show.

"There are some anecdotal connections between his story and a multitude of characters," said "The Wire" showrunner David Simon. "We mangled street and given names throughout 'The Wire' so that it was a general shout-out to the Westside players. But there is nothing that corresponds to a specific character."