Each weekday, the Department of Justice will highlight a case that has resulted from Operation Legend. Today’s case is out of Eastern District of Michigan. Operation Legend launched in Detroit on July 29, 2020, in response to the city facing increased homicide and non-fatal shooting rates.
A Detroit man was charged in federal court with drug trafficking and illegally possessing a firearm.
“Operation Legend is taking dangerous, armed drug dealers off of our streets and putting them where they belong, which is in federal prison and far away from the peaceful citizens of Michigan,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Eric Walker, 44, of Detroit, was charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, marijuana, and oxycodone, as well as being a felon in possession of a firearm.
According to court documents, law enforcement agents working as part of Operation Legend received tips that Walker had allegedly been selling cocaine, heroin, pharmaceutical pills, and marijuana. Surveillance was set up at the location where Walker was allegedly dealing the drugs and officers observed several drug transactions take place. Officers then executed a search warrant, where they located a black Delta Rex 9mm Handgun loaded with 13 live rounds; approximately 136 grams of suspected cocaine, approximately 23.5 grams of suspected heroin, 672 grams of suspected marijuana, approximately 4.5 amphetamine pills, and approximately 93 pills of suspected oxycodone; multiple phones/electronic devices; packaging materials and scales. Preliminary lab results indicated the heroin was laced with fentanyl and the suspected cocaine is crack cocaine.
Walker is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to previous felony convictions, including second degree murder and assault with intent to murder.
The details contained in the charging document are all 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.