Feds reviewing scores of local gun cases for “Operation Legend”

Chicago police and ATF agents work a crime scene in 2017. | ATF

Federal agents and prosecutors this week will begin reviewing the criminal histories of scores of people who’ve been recently charged with gun crimes in Chicago, according to a source. 

The case review is part of the feds’ recently-announced “Operation Legend” program that is bringing more than 100 federal agents to Chicago to combat violent crime.

Federal authorities expect to find dozens of pending local cases that they can take over with minimal effort. The tactic will allow feds to quickly rack up Operation Legend case totals to supplement a smaller number of cases that the agents might initiate and complete from scratch, the source said.

A top prosecutor within the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has been assigned to collect rap sheets and county case information for federal consideration, according to the source.

Federal prosecutors announced charges Friday against the first three Operation Legend defendants. But, in a sign of things to come, those three arrests were all made before the Legend program was introduced:

• Darryl Collins, 30, is charged with illegal possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. Chicago police allegedly saw Collins with a gun in his waistband on the South Side at 2:43 p.m. last Wednesday. Collins carried the weapon in his hand as he ran from officers, and one round was fired as he climbed a fence, according to a federal complaint. Collins is on parole for home invasion. He was arrested 14 minutes before President Donald Trump announced that additional federal agents will be coming to Chicago for Operation Legend.

• Romeo Holloway, 21, is charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a felon. Chicago police and ATF agents arrested him on the 2700 block of West Flournoy last Tuesday after they allegedly found a handgun in his waistband. Holloway’s arrest was made about 20 hours before Operation Legend launched.

• Darryl Phillips, 22, is charged with illegal possession of a machine gun.  Phillips was arrested after Chicago police and ATF agents raided a home on the 2700 block of West Flournoy that Holloway was seen exiting about eight hours earlier. Phillips’ arrest preceded the launch of Operation Legend by about 12 hours.

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