Operation Legend helped throw federal firepower, mostly metaphorical, at the crime wave eating up major cities like Chicago. Overloaded police forces got the cavalry and criminals who had gotten used to “prog” DAs freeing them as almost soon as they were brought in, were suddenly getting the book thrown at them.
And there are results.
On July 8, 2020, Attorney General William P. Barr announced the launch of Operation Legend, 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…
Since the operation’s launch, through Monday, August 31, 2020, more than 2000 arrests – included 147 for homicide – have been made; more than 544 firearms have been seized; and more than seven kilos of fentanyl, 14 kilos of heroin, 12 kilos of cocaine, and 50 kilos of methamphetamine have been seized.
Of those individuals arrested, 476 have been charged with federal offenses. 249 of those defendants have been charged with firearms offenses, while 185 have been charged with drug-related crimes.
Those are solid numbers. And probably helping keep the situation from spinning entirely out of control.
But, it should go without saying, that federal law enforcement is no substitute for local justice systems that simply don’t work. The role of federal law enforcement has been ambiguous and controversial. And it’s meant to tackle specific larger challenges. When policing, prosecutions, and prisons cease to function locally, the feds can only do so much. Federal prosecutors are already overloaded in many areas (except in New York where SDNY has nothing to do but pursue political vendettas against Republicans), and Gorsuch’s horrible decision claiming that most of Oklahoma is an Indian reservation further overloaded federal resources.
Organized crime and major gangs have more capacity than the feds. And unless local police go back to the street, prosecutors actually charge criminals, and prisons actually hold them, federal law enforcement can’t do more than stick a finger in the dyke as the waters rise.
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