Demoted to desk work in the pawnshop unit for refusing to be less than entirely aggressive in a politically-connected case, Lester Freamon languished for 13 years in oblivion and developed a sideline making dollhouse miniatures to bide the time. More than a decade later, when knowledge of his original sin had all but disappeared within the department, the bosses shifted Freamon into a special detail with a couple of other aging detectives, thinking him merely deadwood. Instead, Freamon began demonstrating the skills of a consummate investigator, manning the wiretaps for both the Barksdale and Sobotka investigations, assessing the flood of information and remaining steadfast to the mantra that all the pieces matter.
He is relentless when it comes to chasing leads - property, money, paper, wiretaps, cell phones, players - and he's an excellent mentor for younger detectives who heed his advice. When Freamon's storm of subpoenas for the investigation of Sen. R. Clayton "Clay" Davis drew unappreciative eyes toward the department, Deputy Commissioner for Operations William A. Rawls offered Lester the choice between his career case and his colleagues' careers. When Freamon agreed to back off, Rawls decided to put the detective's talent to work in the homicide unit, but Colonel Cedric Daniels' newfound clout eventually reinstalled Freamon at Major Crimes during the Marlo Stanfield investigation.