U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday said in the two months since Operation Legend began in Chicago, the operation has yielded over 2,000 arrests, including defendants who have been charged in state and local courts, and 592 defendants have been charged with federal crimes.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has seized 587 firearms, more than 1.2 kilos of heroin, and more than five kilos of methamphetamine.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has seized almost 70 kilos of methamphetamine, more than 16 kilos of heroin, more than 7 kilos of fentanyl, more than 12 kilos of cocaine, 268 firearms, and approximately $5.19 million in drug proceeds.,
The FBI has recovered 241 weapons and the U.S. Marshals Service has recovered 169 firearms and made 1,810 arrests, including 163 for homicide and 120 for sexual assault.
Chicago has shown a 50 percent decrease in homicides in the first seven weeks of the operation, when compared to the five weeks prior to the operation’s launch.
Speaking to reporters AG Barr said, “Operation Legend is working. Crime is down, and order is being restored to this great American city.”
“We have dedicated hundreds of the federal government’s best investigators, analysts, fugitive trackers and other experts to work with our state and local colleagues in law enforcement here in Chicago to help get violent criminals off the streets.”
He reminded the press about the inspiration for the project: “The operation is named for LeGend Taliferro, a four-year-old Kansas City boy shot and killed while asleep in his bed. The purpose of the operation is to make clear that his life mattered, his name should be remembered, and other innocent victims like him, including the eight-year-old girl killed in Chicago on Labor Day, should not suffer such senseless deaths.”
“Operation Legend is the heart of the federal government’s response to this uptick in violent crime. Its mission is to save lives, solve crimes and take violent offenders off our streets before they can claim more victims,” he said.
Operation Legend is a sustained, systematic, and coordinated law enforcement initiative in which federal law enforcement agencies work in conjunction with state and local law enforcement officials to fight violent crime.
The operation kicked off in Kansas City, MO. on July 8th, then expanded to Chicago and Albuquerque on July 22, 2020; to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee on July 29, 2020; to St. Louis and Memphis on August 6, 2020; and to Indianapolis on August 14, 2020.
In Kansas City, 113 defendants have been charged with federal crimes including 34 narcotics-related offenses, 68 firearm related offenses and 11 other violent crimes.
Chicago, ILL had 30 defendants charged federally with narcotics violations, 30 with firearms related charges and 4 with other violent crimes for a total of 124 federal indictments.
Albuquerque, NM had 45 defendants federally charged with 17 for narcotics, 22 for firearms related charges and 6 with other violent offenses.
In Cleveland, OH, 66 defendants have been charged with federal crimes, including 41 for narcotics, 22 for firearms and 3 for other violent charges.
There were 58 defendants federally charged in Detroit, MI with 29 of those for narcotics related offenses, 26 for firearms and 3 for other violent offenses.
Milwaukee, WI netted 16 federally charged with 2 on narcotics, 12 on firearms and 2 on other violent offenses.
In St. Louis, MO, 123 people were federally charged to include 54 narcotics-related offenses, 53 for firearms and 16 for other violent crimes.
Memphis, TN had 16 defendants federally charged, 4 for narcotics, 9 on firearms and 3 on other violent offenses.
Indianapolis, IN netted 31 total defendants federally charged with 10 of those for narcotics, 17 for firearms and 4 for other violent offenses.
“Bringing federal charges is significant because defendants arrested for violent crimes are often detained before trial unlike state defendants who are too often released,” Barr told reporters.
“In addition, federal defendants will face serious sentences if convicted with a real possibility of long term imprisonment at the Bureau of Prisons facility out of state. Knowing that, many of the arrestees cooperate with the government and lead to even more violent offenders such as leaders of gangs or drug organizations.”
Barr said the operation will have a significant impact on reducing recidivism by keeping violent repeat offenders incarcerated thereby reducing violent crime rates.
“In short the basic premise of Operation Legend is that by taking chronic violent criminals off the street, we will force crime rates down and the strategy is working.”, AG Barr
The success of Operation Legend is a demonstration of the dedication and tenacity of the Department of Justice, it’s partners in federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and the resolve of U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s administration to be tough on crime and to restore law and order to the U.S. and protect its law abiding citizens.