KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Local and federal officials have reportedly made nearly 100 arrests in the less than two weeks since Operation LeGend launched, U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison said Friday.
Since the initiative began in the Kansas City metro on July 15, officials claim there have been 97 arrests. Of those, Garrison said 11 have been charged in federal court.
Operation LeGend was named for 4-year-old murder victim LeGend Tallifero, who was shot and killed earlier this month while sleeping in his bed.
The initiative brought more than 200 federal officers to Kansas City to help local officials solve more violent crimes and get dangerous criminals behind bars.
However, the operation has been the subject of several protests in Kansas City, with many arguing the city doesn’t need more federal agents on top of the 400 that already live and work in the metro. Some groups argued it will militarize police and create racial tension.
Garrison said nine of the 11 now facing federal charges are for illegally possessing firearms. One person was charged with drug trafficking, and another was charged with carjacking.
Garrison has only publicly released details on six of these cases.
When FOX4 requested the names and charges for all 11 defendants, Garrison pointed us to a four defendants listed in a federal indictment for drug-trafficking conspiracy. A news release says that prosecution was the result of the Department of Justice’s KC Metro Strike Forces Initiative, not Operation: LeGend.
He did not provide any charging information for the 11th suspect he named.
Of the 88 other arrests, Garrison said 49 were fugitives with state or federal warrants for arrest. Officials referred the other 39 arrests for state prosecution, Garrison said.
Five arrests, he said, were connected to homicide cases, which Garrison said will be handled by local prosecutors. Others were arrested on suspicion of assault, drug trafficking, illegally possessing firearms, robbery, child molestation and sexual assault.
Again, FOX4 has requested details on if any of those cases have resulted in formal state charges at this time. Garrison did not release any names of those arrested.
In the last two weeks of Operation LeGend, officials have also seized 35 firearms, nearly 3 kilograms of methamphetamine, hundreds of pills and other drugs and nearly $40,000 in cash, Garrison said.
“This is the impact of a targeted initiative to reduce violent crime, carried out by local and federal law enforcement working together,” Garrison said. “Many of those who were arrested were illegally carrying firearms or illegal drugs. By bringing them to justice, we reduce the level of violence on the street and the threat of crime in our neighborhoods.”