DETROIT – United States Attorney Matthew Schneider announced today the expansion of Operation Legend to Detroit. Schneider was joined at a press conference at ATF Headquarters with the heads of Michigan’s federal law enforcement, including ATF Special Agent in Charge James Deir, DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kent Kleinschmidt, FBI Special Agent in Charge Steve D’Antuono, and United States Marshal Owen Cypher.
United States Attorney Matthew Schneider stated, “Operation Legend continues and expands what we have been doing for decades, which is sending federal agents and money to Detroit to fight gun and gang violence. Our children are being caught in the crossfire and murdered in senseless acts of gun violence, and I am very thankful that our community supports federal help to fight the current crime wave in Detroit.”
In December 2019, United States Attorney Matthew Schneider and Detroit Police Chief James Craig joined Attorney General William Barr and the heads of the FBI, DEA, ATF, and U.S. Marshals Service in Detroit to launch Operation Relentless Pursuit. This initiative surged federal resources to fight back against violent crime, gangs, and gun violence in seven of America’s most affected cities, including Detroit. This effort continues and expands with Operation Legend.
Operation Legend is a sustained, systematic and coordinated law enforcement initiative in which federal law enforcement agencies work in cooperation with state and local law enforcement officials to fight violent crime. The Operation was launched on July 8 in Kansas City, Missouri, as a result of President Trump’s promise to assist America’s cities that are plagued by violence and has since expanded to include Albuquerque, Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Detroit.
Operation Legend is named after four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed while he slept early in the morning of June 29 in Kansas City. Similar crimes are happening in Detroit. Detroit is currently experiencing a significant increase in violent crime, with homicides currently up 31% and shootings up 53%.
Operation Legend, combined with Operation Relentless Pursuit, will bring a total of approximately 42 federal agents to Detroit, in addition to the many federal agents who have worked for decades with state and local partners on violent crime and other offenses. An additional 10 Detroit ATF agents have been reassigned to work on violent gun crimes.
These federal agents come from the FBI, DEA, ATF, and U.S. Marshal’s Service. Some are temporary assignments that came to Detroit in December 2019. Others are permanent assignments who will provide long-term support to our local partners. Our primary local partner is the Detroit Police Department.
Our federal-local partnership will build upon proven, existing violent-crime fighting strategies. Specifically, we will address (1) fugitive apprehension; (2) gun violence; (3) gang violence; (4) illegal firearm possession, use, and trafficking; and (5) violent drug trafficking. As we have for many years, we will work with the Detroit Police Department to use intelligence-led, data-driven approaches to solve homicides and shootings. The Department of Justice’s assets will supplement local law enforcement efforts, as we work together to take the shooters and chronic violent criminals off of our streets.
Starting in December 2019, the enhancement to our federal-local law enforcement partnership has included the following:
● 10 new U.S. Marshal Task Force Officers began temporary detail assignments; ATF had 4 special agents assigned to the group targeting armed fugitives who were apprehended
● 7 new DEA personnel began temporary detail assignments (5 Special Agents, 1 Special Agent Supervisor, and 1 Intelligence Analyst)
● $3.9 million in grants to Detroit and Wayne County to fight gang and gun violence
Starting in July 2020, Operation Legend expands our partnership to include the following for the City of Detroit:
● Approximately $1 million BJA grant awarded to local law enforcement to assist in gun and gang violence prevention
● Approximately $100,000 JLEO grant awarded for acoustic gunshot detection technology and equipment
● 10 new/permanent ATF Special Agents
● 1 new/permanent ATF Supervisory Special Agent
● 4 new/permanent ATF Intelligence Specialists
● 4 new/permanent ATF Industry Operations Investigators
● 15 ATF Special Agents begin temporary detail assignments
● 10 ATF Special Agents reassigned internally to this initiative
● ATF creates additional unit to focus on gun violence
● 5 FBI Special Agents realigned from other FBI programs
● 3 FBI Analysts from other FBI programs
● 3 FBI Special Agents begin temporary detail assignments
● 1 FBI Intelligence Analyst begins temporary detail assignment
● FBI issues $25,000 rewards for information leading to the arrest of suspects in gun violence cases