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Press Release


For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Illinois Man Charged with Discharging a Firearm While Carjacking a Vehicle from Two Victims
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.

United States vs. Michael C. Pearson

“Carjacking is a senseless act of violence that has no place in our society,” said U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch, Jr. for the Northern District of Illinois. “Our office is committed to working closely with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to pursue and prosecute violent offenders.”

Michael C. Pearson was charged on August 20, 2020, with carjacking and using a firearm during a crime of violence.

According to the indictment, on July 28, 2020, Pearson discharged a firearm, specifically a .22 caliber Glock semiautomatic pistol, while carjacking a 2006 Buick Lucerne from two victims on the North Side of Chicago. The firearm charge carries a maximum sentence of life in federal prison, while the carjacking charge is punishably by up to 15 years.

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

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 Chicago. Since its inception, Operation Legend has yielded more than 2000 local, state, and federal arrests, with approximately 592 defendants charged with federal crimes.

Updated September 9, 2020

Operation Legend