September 27, 2021

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Attorney General William P. Barr Announces Updates on Operation Legend at Press Conference in Milwaukee

17 min read

Charges Announced Against 26 Defendants Alleged to Operate a Violent Drug Trafficking Organization in Milwaukee

At a press conference in Milwaukee today, Attorney General William P. Barr announced updates on Operation Legend. He was joined by Matthew D. Krueger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, who announced charges against 26 defendants who allegedly operated a violent drug trafficking organization in Milwaukee. Law enforcement resources allocated by Operation Legend contributed to the investigation and today’s enforcement operation. 

Since Operation Legend’s launch in July 2020, more than 3,500 arrests – including approximately 200 for homicide – have been made; more than 1,000 firearms have been seized; and nearly 19 kilos of heroin, more than 11 kilos of fentanyl (enough to deliver more than five million fatal doses), more than 94 kilos of methamphetamine, nearly 14 kilos of cocaine, and more than $6.5 million in drug proceeds have been seized.

Of the more than 3,500 individuals arrested, approximately 815 have been charged with federal offenses. More than 440 of those defendants have been charged with firearms offenses, while more than 300 have been charged with drug-related crimes. The remaining defendants have been charged with various offenses.

The Attorney General launched the operation as 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. A prime example of that partnership is the announcement made today by U.S. Attorney Krueger.

This morning, federal, state, and local law enforcement officers arrested 21 of the 26 defendants charged by criminal complaint with offenses related to a violent drug-trafficking organization that obtained multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine and marijuana from California for distribution in the Milwaukee area. The officers also executed search warrants in both Milwaukee and California, resulting in the seizure of approximately 33 firearms, $170,000, and over 700 grams of heroin from one location, as well as additional heroin, cocaine, and marijuana from other locations.

Included among the defendants is Louis R. Perez III, also known as “Eight Ball,” who is alleged to be a Mexican Posse gang member and the current leader of the nationwide drug trafficking organization. Several other Mexican Posse gang members have also been charged and arrested.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Breakdown of Operation Legend charges:

The initiative, which was first launched first in Kansas City, MO., on July 8, 2020, 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. The operation was subsequently expanded to Chicago and Albuquerque on July 22, 2020; to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee on July 29, 2020; to St. Louis and Memphis on August 6, 2020; and to Indianapolis on August 14, 2020. A breakdown of the federal charges in each district is below. 

Kansas City, MO.

147 defendants have been charged with federal crimes outlined below.

  • 54 defendants have been charged with narcotics-related offenses;
  • 80 defendants have been charged with firearms-related offenses; and
  • 13 defendants have been charged with other violent crimes.

Chicago, IL.

150 defendants have been charged with federal crimes outlined below.

  • 37 defendants have been charged with narcotics-related offenses;
  • 108 defendants have been charged with firearms-related offenses; and
  • 5 defendants have been charged with other violent crimes.

Albuquerque, NM.

60 defendants have been charged with federal crimes outlined below.

  • 23 defendants have been charged with narcotics-related offenses;
  • 30 defendants have been charged with firearms-related offenses; and
  • 7 defendants have been charged with other violent crimes.

Cleveland, OH.

72 defendants have been charged with federal crimes outlined below.

  • 42 defendants have been charged with narcotics-related offenses;
  • 26 defendants have been charged with firearms-related offenses; and
  • 4 defendants have been charged with other violent crimes.

Detroit, MI.

65 defendants have been charged with federal offenses outlined below. 

  • 16 defendants have been charged with narcotics-related offenses;
  • 46 defendants have been charged with firearms-related offenses; and
  • 3 defendants have been charged with other violent crimes.

Milwaukee, WI.

47 defendants have been charged with federal crimes outlined below.

  • 24 defendants have been charged with narcotics-related offenses;
  • 19 defendants have been charged with firearms-related offenses; and
  • 4 defendant has been charged with other violent crimes.

St. Louis, MO.

205 defendants have been charged with federal crimes.

  • 93 defendants have been charged with narcotics-related offenses;
  • 90 defendants have been charged with firearms-related offenses; and
  • 22 defendants have been charged with other violent crimes.

Memphis, TN.

27 defendants have been charged with federal offenses.

  • 10 defendants have been charged with narcotics-related offenses;
  • 13 defendants have been charged with firearms-related offenses; and
  • 4 defendants have been charged with other violent crimes.

Indianapolis, IN.

45 defendants have been charged with federal crimes outlined below.

  • 7 defendants have been charged with narcotics-related offenses;
  • 33 defendants have been charged with firearms-related offenses; and
  • 5 defendants have been charged with other violent crimes.

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