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Each weekday, the Department of Justice will highlight a case that has resulted from Operation Legend.  Today’s case is out of the Southern District of Indiana. Operation Legend launched in Indianapolis on Aug. 14, 2020 in response to the city facing record-breaking homicide and non-fatal shooting rates.  In just the first two weeks, the operation has already yielded impactful results; federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies have seized 49 guns and arrested 18 fugitives.  

United States vs. John Green

“The goal of Operation Legend is to provide neighborhoods where all the people of Indianapolis can safely live, work and raise their families,” said U.S. Attorney Joshua Minkler for the Southern District of Indiana.  “Federal agents working with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to remove a trigger puller and his illegally possessed firearms from our streets moves all of us one step closer to that goal.”

John Green was charged on Aug. 8, 2020, with unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to a criminal complaint filed in Federal Court in the Southern District of Indiana.  The Bureau of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) led the investigation.

According to the criminal complaint, on Aug. 8, 2020, IMPD was dispatched to an incomplete call where a female claimed to be shot.  A witness described a black male wearing a black shirt and khaki pants shooting a firearm.  IMPD officers identified John Green a block away.  When the officers engaged him, Green advised that he did not have any firearms.  After Green was located, the witness further described Green shooting a rifle in the air in his front yard.  Authorities located two (2) spent rifle casings in Green’s front yard.  An evidence technician reported to the scene and collected the two (2) spent .223 casings.  The witness identified Green as the person shooting a rifle in the front yard while children were outside playing in the area.

IMPD advised Green that two (2) shell casings were found in his front yard and that a search warrant was being written for his residence.  When IMPD asked Green if any firearms would be located in the residence and Green replied “no.”

Subsequently, Green told IMPD officers that they would find a 9mm and AR-15 in his home.  A search warrant was obtained for Green’s residence and a Ruger AR-15 rifle and a Hi-Point 9mm were located inside.  The rifle was loaded and the round in the chamber matched the ammunition from the casings in the front yard.  Multiple additional rifle and pistol magazines were located in Green’s residence.

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Because of a previous felony conviction punishable by more than one year in prison, Green is prohibited from possessing firearms.

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 he slept 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. Marshal Service, DEA and ATF to surge resources these cities to help state and local officials fighting violent crime.  Since its inception, Operation Legend has yielded close to 1500 local, state, and federal arrests.

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