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Federal Agents Invade Albuquerque

On July 22, Donald Trump called for a “surge of federal law enforcement into American communities plagued by violent crime.” Seeking to exploit crime-drama distractions prior to the presidential election, U.S. Attorney General William J Barr sent thirty-five federal special agents to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to solve homicides and to arrest members of violent street gangs. Operation Legend, as it’s called, is turning out to be a legendary joke. Mr Barr’s secret agents look for drugs and guns instead of murderers and gang members.

…federal agents are posing undercover as drug users and soliciting drugs and guns from people on the street in order to induce the commission of felony crimes. As one source told us, federal agents are “just running right up to you asking for drugs and guns. Anybody they see moving around here with bags, they’re profiling. And I don’t know why they figure they can get to the drugs and guns off the homeless.” […]

Barr described Operation Legend as “an initiative to combat rising violent crime in a number of our cities,” but the people we talked to on the street describe it as an aggressive, at times clumsy, entrapment operation by agents unfamiliar with Albuquerque and unable to keep their cover. This “kid comes up to us,” one person told us “and says he’s dope sick and starts asking for drugs, but like asking for all the drugs. What is that? No one asks for heroin and cocaine. And he had a bike and so we knew he was a Fed when he said he wouldn’t give it up. What junkie doesn’t give up a bike?”

Another person told us that when agents first arrived, they were approaching people near Albuquerque’s downtown and were “asking for crystal.” This tipped people off because “we don’t use the word crystal,” they told us. “They’ll ask for black. Now they’re asking for shards and dark, and they’re asking for pistols.” All of them “are asking for heroin” but they don’t act like heroin addicts. They’re “alive, awake, sitting in areas for four to six hours. Four to six hours,” our source repeated. “An addict doesn’t act that way.” […]

The mayor of Albuquerque, Tim Keller, called the agents “Trump’s secret police,” and said he’d not been briefed on Operation Legend, which Mayor Keller says he vigilantly opposes. In fact, the Albuquerque city police had already been coordinating with AG Barr’s federal agents six days earlier.

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2 comments to Federal Agents Invade Albuquerque

  • Son of Sam Walton

    In April of 2010, two year after I was supposed to graduate from college, I created a project for my final that called every american city, ‘Baghdad’, with plastic troops standing on those cities, in fighting positions.

    My senior project for college revolved solely around the war on drugs and how law enforcement were villains. I have no idea what my senior project would look like in April of 2008 had I not gone to Iraq that February for Bush’s surge. I spent all my time in college waiting for my time in the NG to be over, watching my friends deploy to Afghanistan and New Orleans for Katrina, but not me. And they finally take me and the only thing I cared about after I came home was legalizing drugs. Working in a CIA prison in Baghdad will put the light on you. And I just thought I wanted to legalized marijuana as a college kid before 2008, even writing about it from time to time as a theme for fiction stories for my classes.

    I wonder if my professors remember the senior who graduated based on the theme that all cops are bad because drugs are illegal. And I was one of their pets before Iraq, asking them everything in their offices, prepping myself for grad school so I could be just like them. I wanted to teach literature and possibly a sample of different schools of European Philosophy from 1780-1935. But when our Empire created the war on drugs for the world to drown in violence, there are things more important than living your dreams and doing what you like as an adult . . . to want and receive more and more pay as an American working adult is selfish, and akin to rape and murder.

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