Attorney General William P. Barr Announces Updates on Operation Legend

At a press conference in Kansas City, Missouri, today, US Attorney General William P. Barr announced updates on Operation Legend.

Since the operation’s launch, there have been more than 1,000 arrests, including defendants who have been charged in state and local courts. Of those arrests, approximately 217 defendants have been charged with federal crimes.

These numbers exclude Indianapolis, whose operation was just announced last Friday. In addition, nearly 400 firearms have been seized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The Attorney General launched the operation on July 8, 2020, as 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 initiative is named in honor of four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed while he slept early in the morning of June 29 in Kansas City. 

Launched first in Kansas City, MO., on July 8, 2020, the operation was expanded to Chicago and Albuquerque on July 22, 2020, to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee on July 29, 2020, to St. Louis and Memphis on Aug. 6, 2020, and to Indianapolis on Aug. 14, 2020. A breakdown of the federal charges in each district, with the exception of Indianapolis, is below.

Kansas City, MO.

Forty-three defendants have been charged with federal crimes outlined below, with some defendants charged with multiple offenses.  In addition to the federal charges, the operation has led to the arrests of 17 state defendants on homicide charges.

  • 20 defendants have been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm;
  • 17 defendants have been charged with drug trafficking;
  • Four defendants have been charged with being a drug user in possession of a firearm;
  • Six defendants have been charged with being in possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking;
  • Four defendants have been charged with being in possession of a firearm in furtherance of violent crime;
  • One defendant has been charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition;
  • Three defendants have been charged with armed robbery;
  • One defendant has been charged with carjacking; and
  • One defendant has been charged with arson.

Chicago, Ill.

Sixty-one defendants have been charged with federal crimes outlined below, with some defendants charged with multiple offenses.

  • 34 defendants have been charged with firearms-related offenses;
  • 26 defendants have been charged with narcotics-related offenses;
  • One defendant has been charged with possession of machine gun;
  • One defendant has been charged with illegally dealing firearms without a license;
  • One defendant has been charged with the illegal sale of firearm to prohibited person; and
  • One defendant has been charged with bank fraud.

Albuquerque, NM.

Sixteen defendants have been charged with federal crimes outlined below, with some defendants charged with multiple offenses.

  • Six defendants have been charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances;
  • Four defendants have been charged with distribution of controlled substances;
  • Six defendants have been charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance;
  • Four defendants have been charged with being in possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking;
  • Eight defendants have been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm;
  • One defendant has been charged with being in possession of a stolen firearm;
  • Two defendants have been charged with Hobbs Act violations; and
  • One defendant has been charged with carjacking.

Cleveland, OH.

Thirty-two defendants have been charged with federal crimes outlined below, with some defendants charged with multiple offenses.  Two defendants remain fugitives.

  • 22 defendants have been charged with federal drug trafficking charges;
  • Nine defendants have been charged with federal firearms violations; and
  • One defendant had been charged with carjacking.

Detroit, MI.

Twenty-two defendants have been charged with federal offenses outlined below, with some defendants charged with multiple offenses.

  • 14 defendants have been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm;
  • Two defendants have been charged with possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances;
  • Two defendants have been charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking;
  • Three defendants have been charged with receipt of a firearm while under indictment;
  • Four defendants have been charged with making false statement to a licensed firearm dealer; and
  • Two defendants have been charged with carjacking.

Milwaukee, WI.

Eleven defendants have been charged with federal crimes outlined below, with some defendants charged with multiple offenses.  In addition, thus far, 28 firearms have been seized.

  • Eight defendants have been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm;
  • Five defendants have been charged with possession with intent to distribute narcotics;
  • Four defendants have been charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking;
  • Two defendants have been charged with making false statements to a licensed firearm dealer;
  • One defendant has been charged with possession of a firearm while being an unlawful user of narcotics;
  • One defendant has been charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition; and
  • One defendant has been charged with distribution of narcotics.

St. Louis, MO.

Twenty-five defendants have been charged with federal crimes, with some defendants charged with multiple offenses.

  • One defendant has been charged with drug trafficking and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime following the USMS’s execution of a state arrest warrant;
  • One defendant has been charged with robbery of an item effecting interstate commerce and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence following an joint ATF, SLMPD-initiated undercover operation targeting a known shooter;
  • One defendant has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm following ATF’s execution of a federal search warrant directed towards the residence of a suspected murderer;
  • 21 defendants have been charged with drug trafficking offenses; and
  • One defendant has been charged with being a drug user in possession of a firearm.

Memphis, Tenn.

Seven defendants have been charged with federal offenses, with some defendants charged with multiple offenses.

  • One defendant has been charged with being an alien in possession of a firearm while illegally or unlawfully in the United States;
  • One defendant, who lives in Memphis, was charged in an out-of-district federal case with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine;
  • Two defendants have been charged with being unlawful users of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm and making a material false statement when acquiring a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL); and
  • Two cases remain under seal, but the charges are as follows:
    • One defendant has been charged with bank robbery
    • Two defendants charged with theft from an FFL.

Blogs to Follow:

Justice.gov (August 2020) Attorney General William P. Barr Announces Updates on Operation Legend at Press Conference in Kansas City, Missouri

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