The United States Marshals found 39 children during a two-week sting operation. The operation was called “Operation Not Forgotten.” It was led by the U.S Marshals Service Missing Child Unit in coordination with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and Georgia state and local authorities.
In the press release by the U.S. Marshals, the results of the operation concluded that 26 children rescued, safe location of 13 children discovered, and nine arrests were made for criminal associates. This included,
26 arrest warrants and filed additional charges for alleged crimes related to sex trafficking, parental kidnapping, registered sex offender violations, drugs and weapons possession, and custodial interference.
According to the press release, the missing children were some of the most at-risk and challenging recovery cases in this area. It is based on indications of high-risk factors such as victimization of child sex trafficking, child exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and medical or mental health conditions. The 13 children were located at the request of law enforcement to ensure their wellbeing. Authorities were able to confirm their safety and location.
Director of the Marshals Service Donald Washington said in a statement,
The U.S. Marshals Service is fully committed to assisting federal, state, and local agencies with locating and recovering endangered missing children, in addition to their primary fugitive apprehension mission.The message to missing children and their families is that we will never stop looking for you.