Justice Department gives $265,258 to help prosecute gun cases originating in Myrtle Beach area

Grand Strand Crime

MYRTLE BEACH,  SC (WBTW) – The Department of Justice is awarding $265,258 for the hiring of special prosecutors to try federal firearms cases originating in the Myrtle Beach area, according to U.S. Attorney Peter McCoy.

The money supports violence reduction efforts as part of Operation Legend and other department-led initiatives in cities across the country.

“These funds will be crucial to our efforts to target firearms-related crimes in Myrtle Beach and throughout Horry County, and will help us keep the people of South Carolina safe,” said McCoy. Specifically, the grant will support the hiring of full-time local prosecutors who will try firearms cases in federal court here in South Carolina. 

“This is vital for this office,” McCoy said, “as we are a leading district in cases where defendants charged with firearms-related offenses receive sentences of at least five years or more.”

The Department of Justice’s Office is making up to $5.3 million available in grants to support Operation Legend sites nationwide. More than $1.3 million will fund special prosecutors who have been cross-designated to try federal firearms cases originating in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Kansas City, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; and St. Louis, Missouri. In addition, these and other Legend cities will be eligible for grant funding to support Real Time Crime Centers. These centers are a considerable financial investment for any law enforcement agency.

 The Department of Justice launched Operation Legend in July, following the murder of four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed while he slept in his Kansas City home. The initiative was subsequently expanded from Kansas City to Albuquerque, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Memphis, Milwaukee, St. Louis and Indianapolis. Since the summer launch, officials in Operation Legend sites have made more than 5,500 arrests, including approximately 276 for homicide, and seized more than 2,000 firearms. Of the more than 5,500 individuals arrested, approximately 1,124 have been charged with federal offenses. More than 600 of those defendants have been charged with firearms offenses.

 “We are pleased to support the outstanding work being undertaken through Operation Legend to reduce violent crime by focusing on cases involving illegal firearms,” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “The Office of Justice Programs is pleased to make these resources available to support the brave crime-fighters who work so hard to deter violence and keep our communities safe.”

Prosecuting gun crimes is central to the Justice Department’s strategy under Operation Legend and other violence reduction initiatives led by the Department. These efforts follow a sustained, systematic and coordinated approach to gun violence in which federal law enforcement agencies work closely with state and local officials to fight violent crime. Funding comes from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, a component of the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs.

Prosecuting gun crimes is central to the Justice Department’s strategy under Operation Legend and other violence reduction initiatives led by the Department. These efforts follow a sustained, systematic and coordinated approach to gun violence in which federal law enforcement agencies work closely with state and local officials to fight violent crime. Funding comes from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, a component of the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs.

More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.

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