(STL.News) – Each weekday, the Department of Justice will highlight a case that has resulted from Operation Legend. Today’s case is out of the Western District of Tennessee. Operation Legend launched in Memphis on Aug. 6, 2020, in response to the city facing increased homicide and non-fatal shooting rates.
United States vs. Kendrick Monger, Corey Groves, and Martez Banks
On Sept. 10, 2020, a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment against three Memphis men for conspiracy and theft of firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer.
“The proliferation of stolen firearms on the streets of Memphis contributes to the increased frequency and severity of shooting incidents and violent crime in our neighborhoods,” said U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee. “Under Operation LeGend, we are surging federal resources to assist local law enforcement, and we are committed in our resolve to reduce violent crime by aggressively prosecuting federal firearms offenses. This indictment does just that.”
According to the indictment, on Aug. 2, 2020, Kendrick, Monger, 24; Corey Groves, 25; and Martez Banks, 25, all of Memphis, stole 32 firearms from the Shoot Point Blank gun range, a federally licensed firearms dealer in Memphis.
If convicted, the defendants each face up to 10 years in prison. There is no parole in the federal system.
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 2,000 local, state, and federal arrests, with more than 592 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.