Saint Louis – At a press conference in Kansas City, MO, today, Attorney General William P. Barr and U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen 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 Saint Louis and Memphis on August 6, 2020, and to Indianapolis on August 14, 2020. A breakdown of the federal charges in each district, with the exception of Indianapolis, is below.
In Saint Louis, 25 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, SLMPDinitiated 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.
“Operation LeGend – Saint Louis represents a unique federal partnership with local law enforcement to address the increase in homicides and violent crime in Saint. Louis in 2020,” said U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen. “Today’s announcement highlights the impactful work the brave men and women of the Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, DEA, ATF, the U.S. Marshals Service and Missouri State Highway Patrol have accomplished in Operation LeGend’s early stages. Of course, there is more important work to be done.”