Each weekday, the Department of Justice will highlight a case that has resulted from Operation Legend. Today’s case is out of the Western District of Tennessee. Operation Legend launched in Memphis on Aug. 6, 2020, in response to the city facing increased homicide and non-fatal shooting rates.
United States vs. DeQuan Johnson
“Prohibited persons in possession of firearms or ammunition, such as convicted felons, persons with histories of domestic violence, and unlawful users of illegal narcotics present a known and immediate risk of violence to the community at large,” said U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee. “Operation Legend is leveraging our collaboration between federal, state, and local law enforcement, and is already making a difference in our collective fight against violent crime in Memphis by interrupting the shooting cycle and holding trigger-pullers accountable. As long as this indiscriminate and senseless violence rules the streets, we will use the resources of Operation Legend and the authority of federal charges to incapacitate these community predators, reduce violent crime rates, and ultimately save lives.”
DeQuan Johnson, of Memphis, was charged on Aug. 25, 2020, with unlawful possession of a firearm by a drug user.
According to the charging document, in January 2020, the ATF assisted the U.S. Marshals Service(USMS) with the arrest of Johnson, who was wanted by police for reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault stemming from a shooting incident that occurred on Nov. 24, 2019.
It is alleged that on Nov. 24, 2019, Memphis Police Department officers responded to a shooting in which victims reported that two men approached the back porch of their residence and began firing shots into their home, which was filled with 12 people. One of the victims reported hearing approximately 15 gunshots coming from the back of the residence, and local police subsequently collected 15 spent cartridge casings from the scene. The investigation led to Johnson, who was positively identified by one of the victims.
On Jan. 22, 2020, members of the USMS Fugitive Task Force made contact with Johnson at his residence in Memphis. During a protective search of Johnson’s home, law enforcement located a loaded Smith & Wesson, Model SD40 VE, .40 caliber pistol; an extended magazine containing 20 .40 caliber rounds of ammunition; and marijuana. Because Johnson had active warrants out for his arrest, he was taken into custody.
The details contained in the charging document are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Background on Operation Legend
President Trump promised to assist America’s cities that have been plagued by violence. In July, Attorney General William P. Barr announced the launch of Operation Legend, a sustained, systematic and coordinated law enforcement initiative across all federal law enforcement agencies working in conjunction with state and local law enforcement officials to fight violent crime in cities across America that were experiencing an uptick in violence. Operation Legend is named after four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed on June 29th in Kansas City, Missouri, while asleep in his home.
Operation Legend was launched in Kansas City, Mo., on July 8, 2020, and 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. As part of Operation Legend, Attorney General Barr has directed federal agents from the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, DEA and ATF to surge resources to these cities to help state and local officials fighting violent crime. The Department of Homeland Security is also contributing agents to these efforts in St. Louis. Since its inception, Operation Legend has yielded more than 2000 local, state, and federal arrests, with approximately 476 defendants charged with federal crimes.