DOJ Announces 33 Murder Suspects Among 355 Arrests as Part of Operation Legend

September 1, 2020 Updated: October 14, 2020

Attorney for the Western District of Missouri Tim Garrison announced on Tuesday that 33 murder suspects were among the 355 arrests made by law enforcement officers since Operation Legend was launched. He also noted that agents and officers have seized 122 firearms during the operation.

Operation Legend was launched in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 8, as an initiative of the Trump administration to address the increase in homicides and violent crime across the United States by stepping up the activity of anti-crime task forces in hard-hit cities. The operation is named after 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed while he was asleep in his home in Kansas City on June 29.

LeGend Taliferro
President Donald Trump holds up a photo of LeGend Taliferro, a victim of a crime, during a news conference in the White House in Washington, on Aug. 13, 2020. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

Of the 355 arrested since the launch of the operation, 33 were homicide cases. The remaining cases include the following:

  • 88 federal defendants in the Western District of Missouri
  • 21 federal defendants in Kansas (18) and Texas (3)
  • 62 fugitives with either state or federal warrants for their arrest
  • 151 non fugitive arrests, which comprise supervised release violators, or those who have been referred for prosecution in state court

Garrison noted that during the operation, agents and officers seized 122 firearms in addition to the arrests.

“Operation LeGend aims to immediately help our police agencies and our local leadership to prevent additional victims,” Attorney General William Barr said of the operation on July 22. He said that the operation involves committing more federal law enforcement agents to “work hand in glove with state and local law enforcement.”

Epoch Times Photo
Attorney General William Barr delivers remarks on Operation Legend at the White House in Washington on July 22, 2020. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

The operation has seen the cooperation of federal agents from various agencies including the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Marshals Service.

“It’s important to stress that the operations we’re talking about are the standard anti-crime fighting activities we have been carrying out around the country for decades,” Barr said. “We will be adding federal agents to the task forces—these are street agents, they’re investigators—who will be working to solve murders and to take down the violent gangs. And they’ll be working shoulder to shoulder with our state and local colleagues.”

Barr noted that Operation Legend is different from the tactical teams sent out to defend against riots and mob violence, which have been recently observed across the United States since late May after George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis.

According to Garrison, the 88 federal charges in the Western District of Missouri that resulted from the operation include the following:

  • 35 charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm
  • 26 charged with drug trafficking
  • Five charged with being a drug user in possession of a firearm
  • Six charged with being in possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking
  • Five charged with being in possession of a firearm in furtherance of violent crime
  • Two charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition
  • Four charged with armed robbery
  • Three charged with carjacking
  • Two charged with arson
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