US Marshals Have Rescued 72 Children in the Midwest, Some Were Victims of Sex Trafficking

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A Child Is Abducted Every 40 Seconds in the US. The International Labor Organizations claim that there are 25 million trafficking victims across the world, that returns a $150 billion profit. US Marshals have rescued 72 children across the Midwest in three separate operations since mid-August. Recently, Georgia’s “Operation Not Forgotten” led to the rescue of 39 children, and nine people were arrested on suspicion of sex trafficking and other charges. In Ohio, “Operation Safety Net” recovered 25 missing children in its first two weeks. Indiana’s “Operation Homecoming” led to the safe rescue of eight “highly endangered” children who were at risk for victimization of child sex trafficking and other crimes.

Donald Washington, director of the U.S. Marshals Service, said that of the more than 421,000 children missing in the country, 91% are considered endangered runaways and about one-sixth are likely to become sex-trafficking victims. Usually family members or extended family members are the culprits in child abductions.

U.S. Marshals announced the safe rescue of 8 “highly endangered” missing children in Indiana over the weekend as part of “Operation Homecoming.” Similar operations in nearby states have led to the rescue of 72 children since mid-August.

What You Need To Know

    • U.S. Marshals have rescued 72 children across the Midwest in three separate operations since mid-August
    • Indiana’s “Operation Homecoming” led to the safe rescue of eight “highly endangered” children
    • Ohio’s “Operation Safety Net” led to rescue of 25 children in the effort’s first two weeks
  • Georgia’s “Operation Not Forgotten” led to the rescue or safe location of 39 children

The coordinated search in Indiana, which included multiple state and local agencies, led to the arrest of one suspect, per a news release from the U.S. Marshals.

“Federal investigators coordinated with IMPD and NCMEC to recover eight highly endangered missing children resulting in one arrest of an adult subject for charges filed, including alleged crimes related to parental kidnapping, intimidation, weapons possession and custodial interference,” the statement read in part.

“These children, between the ages of 6 and 17, were considered to be some of the most at-risk and challenging recovery cases in the area, based on indications of high-risk factors such as victimization of child sex trafficking, child exploitation, sex abuse, physical abuse and medical or mental health conditions,” the statment continued.

The children were turned over to the Indiana Department of Child Services. Further details on the case have not been released.

“The Marshals are committed to assisting state and local agencies with locating and recovering endangered missing children to help prevent their falling victim to crimes of violence and exploitation,” Dan McClain, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Indiana, said following the rescue. “The message that we wish to convey to the missing children and their families is that we will use every resource at our disposal to find you.”

In late August, U.S. Marshals announced that a similar sting in Ohio dubbed “Operation Safety Net” recovered 25 missing children in its first two weeks, although the operation is ongoing.

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