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US Marshals’ operation recovers 16 missing children and uncovers allegations of sex trafficking

A three-month operation by the US Marshals Service in Louisiana led to the recovery of 16 missing children, the arrest of five individuals and uncovered allegations of sex trafficking in several of the cases, according to the agency.

The operation, which is dubbed “Fresh Start,” took place in the New Orleans area from January 1 of this year until March 31, according to a news release. It was led by the Missing Child Unit of the US Marshals Service Eastern District of Louisiana New Orleans Task Force.

It ended in the rescue or recovery of 16 missing and endangered children, the agency said. “Based on the operation at least four (4) felony warrant(s) exist for adults suspected of involvement with MCU minors and the USMS New Orleans Task Force is actively pursuing these fugitives,” the news release states.

The Marshals Service highlighted several cases in which children were recovered and rescued as part of the collaborative effort. In one case, a 5-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy were recovered in late January after they were taken by a non-custodial parent, who is their mother.

“The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office issued a felony warrant for the mother of the children for Kidnapping, and she made active attempts to avoid arrest along the way,” the news release states. The mother took the children to the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area where a task force recovered the children and arrested the mother.

“I am very proud of the cooperative work done by all the agencies involved in safeguarding at risk children. Our Office is proud to be a part of a robust MCU program that took root in New Orleans starting in 2016,” US Marshal Scott Illing said in a statement.

“This work is being done with our partners while our office still performs its critical USMS missions (judicial and witness security, managing federal prisoners, violent fugitives’ apprehension, sex offender investigations, and service of federal process),” Illing said.

Several other agencies also participated in the operation, including the New Orleans Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Police Department, the news release states.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CNN

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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