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Federal Policing Program Named “Operation Legend” Results in Gun Charges

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 in August.

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 gun-related charges.

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.

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Helpful Tips From Me To You

How To Properly Exercise Your Constitutional Rights
  • What You Should Do
    • Be respectful.
    • Calmly record the interaction.
    • Ask if you are free to leave. If you do not ask, the officer may think - and the judge may agree - that the interaction is consensual.
    • If you are free to leave, go! If you are not free to leave, do not answer and questions before speaking with your attorney.
  • What You Should Not Do
    • Do not physically resist arrest.
    • Do not become aggressive or confrontational.
    • Do not consent to a search. The Constitution does not apply if you consent.
    • Do not answer questions without first speaking with your attorney. Police are allowed to hold you for 48 hours and they may lie to you the entire time.
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