January 25, 2022

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Operation Legend: Case of the Day

10 min read
<div>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 Ohio. Operation Legend launched in Cleveland on July 29, 2020, in response to the city facing increased homicide and non-fatal shooting rates.</div>

Ohio: Cleveland Man Charged with Drug Trafficking and Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime

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 Ohio.  Operation Legend launched in Cleveland on July 29, 2020, in response to the city facing increased homicide and non-fatal shooting rates.

A Cleveland man has been charged with federal firearms and drug trafficking offenses after an Operation Legend taskforce conducted surveillance and executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence and seized multiple firearms and illicit drugs. 

“Trafficking drugs by itself is a dangerous enterprise, but mix in several loaded firearms and some high-powered rifles, and the result is a deadly combination that could hurt many people in more ways than one,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman.  “I want to thank law enforcement agents with DEA and Cleveland Police for their collaborative work to identify this individual and remove him from the community.”

Angel Chacon, 37, of Cleveland, was charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

According to court documents, law enforcement agents working as part of an Operation Legend taskforce executed a search warrant at Chacon’s residence after observing drug trafficking activity and executing a controlled buy.

During the search of the property, agents allegedly located the following items: cocaine, marijuana, drug trafficking paraphernalia and supplies, $5,000, a 9mm pistol, 55 rounds of 9mm ammunition, a .22 caliber rifle, 165 rounds of .22 caliber rifle ammunition, a .17 caliber rifle with five rounds of .17 caliber ammunition, a custom .223 caliber rifle with two magazines, 59 rounds of .223 caliber ammunition and two bags of miscellaneous ammunition and magazines.

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.

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GAO recommends that Treasury, in coordination with IRS, should begin tracking and publicly reporting the number of individuals who were mailed an EIP notification letter and filed for and received an EIP, and use that information to inform ongoing outreach and communications efforts. Treasury agreed with this recommendation. Unemployment Insurance The CARES Act created three federally funded temporary programs for unemployment insurance (UI) that expanded benefit eligibility and enhanced benefits. In its weekly news releases, the Department of Labor (DOL) publishes the number of weeks of unemployment benefits claimed by individuals in each state during the period and reports the total count as the number of people claiming benefits nationwide. DOL officials told GAO that they have traditionally used this number as a proxy for the number of individuals claiming benefits because they were closely related. However, the number of claims has not been an accurate estimate of the number of individuals claiming benefits during the pandemic because of backlogs in processing a historic volume of claims, among other data issues. Without an accurate accounting of the number of individuals who are relying on these benefits in as close to real time as possible, policymakers may be challenged to respond to the crisis at hand. GAO recommends that DOL (1) revise its weekly news releases to clarify that in the current unemployment environment, the numbers it reports for weeks of unemployment claimed do not accurately estimate the number of unique individuals claiming benefits, and (2) pursue options to report the actual number of distinct individuals claiming benefits, such as by collecting these already available data from states. DOL agreed with the recommendation to revise its weekly news releases, and partially agreed with the recommendation to pursue options to report the actual number of distinct individuals claiming benefits. Tax Relief for Businesses To provide liquidity to businesses during the pandemic, the CARES Act included tax measures to help businesses receive cash refunds or other reductions to tax obligations. Some taxpayers need to file an amended income tax return to take advantage of these provisions; at the same time, IRS faces an increase in mail and paper processing delays due to the pandemic, which may delay the timely processing of this paperwork and issuance of these refunds. GAO recommends that IRS update its form instructions to include information on its electronic filing capability for tax year 2019. IRS agreed with this recommendation. 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In June 2020, GAO suggested that Congress take legislative action to require the Secretary of Transportation to work with relevant agencies, such as HHS, the Department of Homeland Security, and other stakeholders, to develop a national aviation-preparedness plan to limit the spread of communicable diseasethreats and minimize traveland trade impacts. GAO originally made this recommendation to the Department of Transportation in December 2015. GAO urges Congress to take swift action to require such a plan, without which the U.S. will not be as prepared to minimize and quickly respond to ongoing and future communicable disease events. As of November 12, 2020, the U.S. had over 10.3 million cumulative reported cases of COVID-19 and about 224,000 reported deaths, according to federal agencies. The country also continues to experience serious economic repercussions. 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