Federal and local partners hope to reduce homicide rate in Indianapolis during Operation Legend

Indianapolis Area Crime
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INDIANAPOLIS – More than two dozen people in Indianapolis are facing federal charges as part of Operation Legend. The 45-day surge in resources began roughly three weeks ago on Aug. 14.

The goal is to make Indianapolis safer by taking guns, drugs and violent offenders off the streets. Cooperation from the community plays a big role in that.

Operation Legend is a coordinated law enforcement initiative in which federal law enforcement agencies work in conjunction with state and local law enforcement officials to fight violent crime.

Attorney General William Barr directed the ATF, FBI, DEA, and U.S. Marshals Service in Indianapolis to dedicate resources to Operation Legend to help state and local officials fight high levels of violent crime, particularly gun violence. 

Indianapolis recorded 146 homicides in 2020 when Operation Legend launched on Aug. 14. The city did not reach that number until mid-November in 2019.

“We are identifying those individuals who have the propensity to carry out violent crimes through firearms or through various acts,” said Nathan Husak, Supervisory Special Agent of Violent Crimes Task Force with the FBI.

Husak hopes their efforts can reduce the homicide rate or the number of non-fatal shootings occurring in the city. He believes arresting individuals who have committed violent crimes and are known to carry firearms could have a positive impact on combating the homicide rate.

“We are looking to make more of an impact in more of a condensed time period,” he said.

In addition to 28 arrests, U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said more than 60 guns have also been seized as part of Operation Legend. IMPD Major Matthew Thomas said those weapons are recovered from people believed to be involved in shootings. The department’s Crime Gun Intelligence Center allows investigators to identify and apprehend serial shooters in a more strategic and timely manner.

“We are able to bring closure to a cases more rapidly with additional resources on the investigations,” Thomas said.

He explained federal and local partners need a partnership with the community to reduce gun violence in Indianapolis. That partnership could bring hope to families forever impacted by the crime in the city, like the Swanson family.

Shannon Swanson is the mother of De’Shaun Swanson, a 10-year-old boy who was murdered in a drive-by shooting in Butler Tarkington almost five years ago. He was supposed to turn 15 last month. His case still remains unsolved.

“I still have this image of a 10-year-old boy and that is all I have,” Swanson said. “They took his life in front of me and it was a horrible experience.”

Federal and local partners do not want any other family to feel her pain. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of the individual(s)
responsible for the homicide of De’Shaun Swanson.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the FBI Indianapolis Field Office at (317) 595-4000, the FBI tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI, or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana Tips Hotline at (317) 262-TIPS. You may submit tips online at tips.fbi.gov, or contact your local FBI office, or the
nearest American embassy or consulate.

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