YouTube Blogger Turned Informant Ditches Mask, Spills Beans in FBG Duck Murder Trial

YouTube Blogger Turned Informant Ditches Mask, Spills Beans in FBG Duck Murder TrialSource: Chicago Police Department
Damon R. Sheffield
Published on December 02, 2023

In what can only be described as a courtroom drama that seems straight out of a movie plot, Chicago's gang-riddled reality has taken center stage, with a YouTube blogger coming forward as a key witness. Martell Wiley, the once-anonymous face behind a mask and the creator of the popular Trenches News YouTube channel, has turned informant, testifying against six men accused of the calculated murder of rapper FBG Duck. The Sun-Times reports that the self-proclaimed "Michael Jordan on YouTube" has been compensated to the tune of nearly $25,000 by the feds for his contributions to the case.

Wiley, who has hidden his identity behind a mask to discuss the violent crossroads of gang affiliations and rap cultures through nearly 2,000 YouTube videos, entered the courtroom without his notorious get-up, revealing a decade-long history of cooperation with federal law enforcement. According to The Source, Wiley’s testimony is pivotal, given his intricate knowledge and former involvement with the brutal gang politics of Chicago.

FBI Special Agent Kevin Doyle disclosed to jurors that Wiley had quite persistently been paid for his intelligence, revealing social media postings and reviewing surveillance footage that was key to the case. The former gang associate's testimony has drawn attention not only for its content but also for Wiley’s characteristic jokes and profanity-laced delivery. He insisted during his moment on the witness stand that he’s made a turn for the better, saying "Ain't no money in the streets now. They’re broke, starving gang-bangers," and stressing his newfound ambition to help Chicago's troubled youth escape a cycle of violence.

The trial, which put six alleged members and associates of the O Block sect of the Black Disciples in the dock, hit a tense point when defense attorneys demanded a deeper dive into Wiley's past cooperation with the bureau. This revelation of Wiley's informant status and monetary gains has thrown a complicated light on proceedings as the intersection of street credibility and legal cooperation blurs. In response, the presiding judge enforced a restraint on Wiley, ensuring he wouldn't discuss case specifics outside the courtroom. Declaring with a smirk, Wiley promised, "I won’t go on YouTube," a sentiment met with a crisp retort from Judge Martha Pacold, "Certainly not," she said.