AG Barr on Operation Legend: 3,500 Arrests, Hundreds Charged with Federal Crimes

Attorney General William Barr participates in a law enforcement briefing on the MS-13 gang with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, July 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

At a Tuesday press conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced that the agency’s Operation Legend has resulted in 3,500 individuals arrested and charged with federal crimes across the United States.

Barr was joined at the press conference by Matthew Krueger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, who announced the charges against 26 individuals for allegedly operating a violent drug tracking organization.

“Since Operation Legend’s launch in July 2020, more than 3,500 arrests — including approximately 200 for homicide — have been made; more than 1,000 firearms have been seized; and nearly 19 kilos of heroin, more than 11 kilos of fentanyl (enough to deliver more than five million fatal doses), more than 94 kilos of methamphetamine, nearly 14 kilos of cocaine, and more than $6.5 million in drug proceeds have been seized,” the press release announcing the latest arrests said.

“Of the more than 3,500 individuals arrested, approximately 815 have been charged with federal offenses. More than 440 of those defendants have been charged with firearms offenses, while more than 300 have been charged with drug-related crimes,” the release said.

It was announced that 21 of the 26 suspects in Wisconsin were arrested on Tuesday for offenses related to “violent drug trafficking” of cocaine and marijuana from California for distribution in the Milwaukee area.

Enforced search warrants also netted 33 firearms, $170,000, and more than 700 grams of heroin from one location.

One of the most infamous to be arrested and charged is Louis R. Perez III, also known as “Eight Ball,” an alleged Mexican Posse gang member and the alleged current leader of the nationwide drug trafficking organization. 

Several other alleged members of the Mexican Posse gang have also been charged and arrested.

The DOJ offered details about Operation Legend:

The initiative, which was first launched first in Kansas City, MO., on July 8, 2020, 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. The operation was subsequently expanded to Chicago and Albuquerque on July 22, 2020; to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee on July 29, 2020; to St. Louis and Memphis on August 6, 2020; and to Indianapolis on August 14, 2020.

Arrests and charges were filed against individuals in nine states — 147 in Kansas City, Missouri; 150 in Chicago, Illinois; 60 in Albuquerque, New Mexico; 72 in Cleveland, Ohio; 65 in Detroit, Michigan, 47 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 205 in St. Louis, Missouri; 27 defendants in Memphis, Tennessee; and 45 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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