Updated: September 02, 2020 11:47 AM
Created: September 01, 2020 10:30 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Officials working on Operation Legend offered a behind the scenes look at how the operation is shaping up so far.
Task force leader Kevin Taft is assigned to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department U.S. Marshal’s task force. The unit recently helped deputies in a weekend operation in Central Albuquerque.
"I think the main thing that I've seen out of Operation Legend is again just extra resources and extra money,” Taft said.
President Trump announced the operation during a news conference in July. Since then, at least 19 people have been charged federally, including the alleged killer of Jacqueline Vigil.
Still, some critics said the operation is a political move to make Democratic-led cities look more violent. Others fear that these federal agents will arrest peaceful protesters.
"The whole idea of the Stormtroopers and that Operation Legend is here to in any way to limit people's ability to protest or exercise their First Amendment rights is completely not true” Taft said. “Literally, we're looking for violent offenders and trying to stabilize this, this basically crime spike that we've seen within our community."
On Saturday, BCSO and the U.S. Marshals made several felony arrests and some misdemeanors. KOB 4’s crew saw one man getting arrested for being a convicted felon in possession of two firearms, one of which had the serial number scratched off.
"Very, very frequently when we take them into custody they're armed again, so right away he's a felon in possession, which is a crime in the state of New Mexico,” Taft explained. “That's a fourth degree felony, meaning they could serve up to a year and a half in jail.”
Officials said they don’t know how long Operation Legend will go on for, but Taft hopes it will have a lasting impact.
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