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Operation Legend: Case of the Day

Illinois: Federal Carjacking and Firearm Charges Filed Against Man for Allegedly Stealing Vehicle at Gunpoint in Chicago

Each weekday, the Department of Justice will highlight a case that has resulted from Operation Legend.  Today’s case is out of the Northern District of Illinois.  Operation Legend launched in Chicago on July 22, 2020, in response to the city facing increased homicide and non-fatal shooting rates.

A federal grand jury indicted a man on carjacking and firearm charges for allegedly stealing a vehicle at gunpoint in Chicago.

“Our office will use every available federal resource to vigorously pursue and prosecute violent carjackers,” said John R. Lausch, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.  “We are committed to working with our state and local law enforcement partners to aggressively fight violent crime and protect Chicago’s neighborhoods from gun offenders.”

Elias Quinones-Figueroa, 19, of Chicago, was charged with one count of carjacking and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.

According to court documents unsealed Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, on May 27, 2020, Quinones-Figueroa forcibly took a 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe sport-utility vehicle from a victim in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago.  It is alleged Quinones-Figueroa brandished a handgun during the carjacking.

The carjacking charge is punishable by up to 25 years in federal prison, while the firearm charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years, which must run consecutive to any sentence imposed on the carjacking charge.

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

Background on Operation Legend

Since its inception, Operation Legend has yielded more than 3,500 local, state, and federal arrests, with more than 800 defendants charged with federal crimes.

President Trump promised to assist America’s cities that have been plagued by violence.  In July, Attorney General William P. Barr announced the launch of Operation Legend, a sustained, systematic and coordinated law enforcement initiative across all federal law enforcement agencies working in conjunction with state and local law enforcement officials to fight violent crime in cities across America that were experiencing an uptick in violence.  Operation Legend is named after four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed on June 29th in Kansas City, Missouri, while asleep in his home.

Operation Legend was launched in Kansas City, Mo., on July 8, 2020, and expanded to Chicago and Albuquerque on July 22, 2020; to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee on July 29, 2020; to St. Louis and Memphis on Aug. 6, 2020; and to Indianapolis on Aug. 14, 2020.  As part of Operation Legend, Attorney General Barr has directed federal agents from the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, DEA and ATF to surge resources to these cities to help state and local officials fighting violent crime.  The Department of Homeland Security is also contributing agents to these efforts in St. Louis.