In the ongoing federal investigation into the murder of rapper FBG Duck, blogger Martell Wiley has emerged as a key figure. An FBI agent testified on Monday that Wiley, who runs the Trenches News YouTube channel with 114,000 subscribers, has been paid nearly $25,000 for his cooperation with the authorities. Wiley is expected to testify this week at the trial of six men charged with the murder, which occurred in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood on August 4, 2020.
The involvement of Wiley, who focuses on the darker aspects of Chicago’s drill rap culture, has sparked much debate in the rap community. There were rumors that he violated the street’s no-snitch code and was “Cooperator 1,” a source of information for prosecutors about the O Block faction of the Black Disciples, pivotal in this murder and racketeering case.
Initially, in an interview before the trial, Wiley dismissed the allegations of cooperation with law enforcement, avoiding direct answers about being paid. However, he later admitted in a video posted on his channel that he was subpoenaed to testify, referring to the trial as “the trial of the century” and acknowledging his presence in the courtroom.
FBI Special Agent Kevin Doyle detailed Wiley’s involvement, stating he contacted Chicago Police the day after FBG Duck’s shooting and began cooperating with the FBI in April 2021. Wiley’s contributions included providing background information, reviewing surveillance footage, and analyzing social media posts. However, Doyle also noted that Wiley was temporarily dropped as an informant due to unresponsiveness.
Wiley’s past as an informant was also highlighted during the trial, with defense attorneys questioning the payments and his credibility, given his previous affiliations. Prosecutors noted Wiley’s connections to Parkway Gardens, known as O Block, and his associations with the Black Disciples’ Newtown faction, Duck’s crew, and the Gangster Disciples.
FBI Agent Doyle acknowledged concerns about Wiley’s potential bias due to his connections to Duck. Despite these concerns, Wiley’s role in the trial has been significant, with his updates on the case and involvement in the investigation being closely followed. The trial’s developments, including attempts by defense attorneys to block Wiley’s testimony, have kept the case in the public eye, adding layers of complexity to the already high-profile trial.