Operation Legend: Case of the Day
Ohio: Felon Charged with Drug Trafficking and Illegal Possession of AR-15 Rifle
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 federal grand jury in Cleveland has returned a four-count indictment against a man on charges of drug trafficking and illegally possessing a firearm.
"This defendant is accused of illegally possessing an AR-15 rifle and large quantities of deadly narcotics," said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. "Additionally, this defendant has a record of previous drug trafficking and felony offenses. This case is a prime example of what we are seeking to accomplish under Operation Legend. Using federal resources and law enforcement partnerships, we are targeting drug traffickers, repeat offenders, violent criminals and those who illegally possess a firearm with intentions of causing havoc in our communities."
Edward T. Harris, 40, of Cleveland, was charged with two counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.
According to court documents, law enforcement agents working as part of Operation Legend executed a search warrant at Harris’ residence. During the search, agents seized 294 grams of a heroin and fentanyl mixture, 2.59 grams of crack cocaine, an AR-15 rifle and a 9mm semi-automatic pistol.
Harris is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to previous felony convictions.
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.