Federal Policing Program Named “Operation Legend” Results in
In July, the US Department of Justice officially announced a
law enforcement initiative called “Operation Legend,” which specifically targets violent crime in certain cities, including
in Chicago. The initiative is named after a four-year-old boy who was
shot and killed in Kansas City, where the initiative originated.
As part of the initiative, federal agents will coordinate with local law
enforcement, focusing resources on certain cities with a high rate of
violent crime. In addition to Kansas City, the initiative was expanded
to Chicago and Albuquerque, then to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee
in late July. St. Louis and Memphis, and then Indianapolis were added
Since the initiative began, over 1,500 arrests have been made in eight
cities nationwide. The attorney general claimed hundreds of firearms have
been seized as part of the initiative.
In Chicago, at least
61 arrests have been made. At least half of those arrests include gun-related charges,
often because defendants are convicted felons who were arrested as part
of the initiative for another reason.
Three men were arrested in Chicago in July on gun charges related to Operation
Legend. A 30-year-old was charged with one count of illegal possession
of ammunition by a convicted felon. A 21-year-old was charged with illegal
possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. A 22-year-old was charged
with one count of illegal possession of a machine gun. It is not clear
whether he had any previous felony convictions.
The first two defendants had previous felony convictions, which makes it
illegal in Illinois for them to
possess firearms or ammunition. The penalty is at least two years in prison for either violation. Certain
violations that include drug charges can carry heavier sentences.
The 22-year-old was not
arrested for gun-related activity, but officers discovered the gun in his bedroom
while executing a search warrant. Officers discovered a semi-automatic
handgun that had an additional mechanism on the back that effectively
transformed the weapon into a machine gun. In Illinois, a weapon that
can automatically fire more than one shot without reloading is considered
a machine gun.
In Illinois, it is a crime to
possess a machine gun, or to possess (or manufacture or sell) any combination of parts which
are designed to transform a weapon into a machine gun. Possessing a machine
gun in Illinois is a serious offense. It is a Class 2 felony, which carries
a minimum prison sentence of three years. If the machine gun had been
discovered loaded either on the defendant’s person or in the passenger
side compartment of a vehicle, it would be considered a Class X felony
– the most serious crime in Illinois.
The national violent crime rate decreased in the past two years, but is
beginning to increase in the eight cities included in Operation Legend.
Especially in Chicago, be aware that authorities are cracking down on
Contact a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney With Experience in Gun Cases
If you are charged with a
gun-related offense in Chicago, contact attorney Thomas Hallock, who is prepared to fight
aggressively and effectively on your behalf. Call 888-412-3741 or
fill out the online form to discuss your case for free.