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Indy’s FBI leader touts surveillance effort as effective against drugs, guns, violence

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The local FBI leader says Operation Legend, a federal effort involving multiple law enforcement agencies, is getting guns, and drugs off the streets and tamping down violence not only in Indianapolis, but across the nation.

Paul Keenan, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office, said Thursday, “We’ve had some good success so far. We’ve taken 54 illegal guns off the streets in total. So, I think that’s a good start.”

On Aug. 14 when the operation launched, Indianapolis had recorded at least 144 homicides, up more than 50% from August 2019. On Sept. 2, the city had recorded at least 156 homicides.

Keenan says the federal operation will last 45 days until the first week of October.

Keenan told News 8, “We’ve been focusing on shorter-term investigations within the FBI. So, it has been working. We’ve arrested several people wanted for homicides. Just the FBI alone has, not counting our other federal partners. We’ve arrested people for Hobbs Act armed robberies of commercial establishments and also e-commerce robberies where somebody posts something online and is robbed at gunpoint.”

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice said 26 people in Indianapolis face federal charges for offenses involving narcotics, or firearms or violent crime. Keenan says the FBI is working closely with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

“We’re looking at their crime reports. We’re looking at their homicide reports, their violent crime. We’re trying to target the people committing the worst violent crimes in the city. So, with the extra surge in manpower internally and then also from HSI, the FBI is able to use that manpower to provide surveillance on these subjects who are out there committing the violent crime.”

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