A Department of Justice official corrected comments by Attorney General William Barr, who said Wednesday that 200 arrests had been made within two weeks in Kansas City as part of “Operation Legend,” a federal anticrime effort, the Kansas City Star reports. Barr spoke at a news conference about the operation, which is sending hundreds of federal agents into the metro area to stop a surge of violent crime in the city. “Just to give you an idea of what’s possible, the FBI went in very strong into Kansas City and within two weeks we’ve had 200 arrests,” Barr said. The number baffled many in Kansas City, including local officials who said they could not vouch for it.
A senior DOJ official later said the 200 figure included arrests dating back to December 2019 and included both state and FBI arrests in joint operations. The official said Barr was referring to the number of arrests made in the city since the launch of “Operation Relentless Pursuit,” a precursor effort to “Operation Legend.” The first charge under “Operation Legend” was announced Monday. Monty Ray, 20, was accused of being an unlawful drug user in possession of firearms. Matthew Miller, a former DOJ official, said, “Wow. Barr says today there have been 200 arrests in the past two weeks. KC says the real number is more like one…What the hell is going on at DOJ?” tweeted Miller, who led DOJ’s public affairs from 2009 to 2011 during President Barack Obama’s administration.