FACTS

    U.S. Marshals from the Missing Child Unit have found 64 children in the past 5 weeks in stings known as “Operation Not Forgotten” in Georgia and “Operation Safety Net” in Ohio. Last year alone, the U.S. Marshals Service was a part of recovery missions responsible for finding 295 children.

    “The message to missing children and their families is that we will never stop looking for you.”

    Donald Washington, U.S. Marshals Service Director

    GEORGIA

    Thirty-nine missing children were located or rescued in a recent two-week operation in Georgia, many of whom were said to be victims of sexual and physical abuse, and many with mental and physical health issues as well. At least 15 children were suspected to be victims of sex trafficking. Mr. Washington commented that these children, ages three to 17-years-old, were some of “the most at risk and challenging recovery cases in the area.” The sting was a joint operation between Marshals task forces, local agencies, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Nine arrests were made, and authorities filed 26 “charges for alleged crimes related to sex trafficking, parental kidnapping” and “registered sex offender violations.”

    OHIO

    Additionally, 25 children were found in Ohio over the past three weeks. There are said to be over 200 children still missing in Northeast Ohio. “These are kids that have been abused, neglected. Some involved in human trafficking,” stated U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott. The Ohio task force is working with local Ohio agencies and police departments, and the operation will continue for several weeks. Additionally, in a third operation known as “Operation Moving Target,” 27 Ohio men have been arrested for “engaging in sexually explicit conversations with undercover agents posing as children.” Elliott said that these operations are something they will continue annually.

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