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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Michigan
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Operation Legend Results in 22 Defendants Charged with Various Federal Charges

Additional Federal Agents in Detroit Immediately Succeeded in Taking Violent Offenders Off Our Streets

DETROIT – Federal and local law enforcement today announced the initial early results of Operation Legend, 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.

On July 29, United States Attorney Matthew Schneider was joined at a press conference at the Detroit offices of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with the heads of Michigan’s federal law enforcement, including ATF Special Agent in Charge James Deir, FBI Special Agent in Charge Steve D’Antuono, and United States Marshal Owen Cypher to announce that Operation Legend was expanding to Detroit.

To date, Operation Legend has yielded the arrest of 22 defendants being charged with federal offenses outlined below. Please note that some are 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.

United States Attorney Matthew Schneider stated, “Operation Legend is working. The additional federal agents in Detroit have already taken high-powered assault rifles off our streets and have put armed drug dealers behind bars. If these federal agents had not come to Detroit, these violent criminals would still be terrorizing our neighborhoods. We cannot – and we will not – let up in our fight against violent crime.”

Operation Legend is an extension of Operation Relentless Pursuit, an initiative announced in Detroit in December, 2019 by Attorney General William Barr, that surged federal resources to fight back against violent crime, gangs, and gun violence in seven of America’s most affected cities, including Detroit.

The Operation was first 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 recent violence and has since expanded to include Albuquerque, Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Detroit, Memphis and St. Louis.

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, brought 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.


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