Progress report out on federal crime fighting initiative in Chicago, other cities shows 61 arrests here

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner WLS logo
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Progress report out on federal crime fighting initiative in Chicago and other cities shows 61 arrests here
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Guns have been recovered in Chicago as part of Operation Legend.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Operation Legend, the federal crime-fighting initiative, has been underway in Chicago now for nearly a month. So far in Chicago federal agents have made 61 arrests under this new branding that the Justice Department came up with in July. Legend started in Kansas City this summer after the murder of a four-year-old boy. Attorney General William Barr was there Wednesday with a new report card on the counter-violence plan.

"One of the important developments of Legend has been the seizure of hundreds and hundreds of firearms in our Legends cities," said Attorney General Barr.

Chicago FBI names killing of Vernado Jones, 14, as bureau's 1st Operation Legend target

The Justice Department showed off firepower found in Chicago during Operation Legend investigations.

About half of the 61 people arrested here the past month are facing gun-related charges including, Nelson Perkins, according to law enforcement. When Chicago police arrested him for selling loose cigarettes in a currency exchange, they say he also had drugs for sale out of his backpack, and a loaded pistol.

Many arrests since the Legend initiative began are convicted felons found to be carrying guns when they were picked up for something else.

Operation Legend ATF mobile ballistics van comes to Chicago

Ramone Samuels has gun and drug violations going back to 2004 according to court records. He was arrested two weeks ago after a traffic stop and foot chase according to federal agents, running away with a 40 caliber Glock.

Investigators say it was a similar story with, Dashaun Bailey. His criminal history here starts in 1999 according to records. Bailey was arrested in early August and charged as a felon in possession of a 9mm pistol after a west side shooting.

"So far, federal/state task forces involved in Operation Legend have made almost 1500 arrests," said Barr. "Many of those arrests are for violent state crimes including 90 homicides."

The attorney general once again took a jab at some local prosecutors across the country for prematurely releasing criminal arrestees on bond, only to see them back out committing crimes. He noted federal prosecutors have more tools to keep violent offenders locked up longer while awaiting trial and then once convicted, sentences can be longer as well.