US Marshals Say They Rescued 16 Missing Children, Some In Suspected Sex Trafficking Ring

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Sixteen children were rescued during a three-month operation by U.S. Marshals that uncovered several allegations of human sex trafficking.

The operation, “Fresh Start,” took place between Jan. 1 and March 31 in New Orleans, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. Authorities made five arrests during the operation.

Among those rescued include a 14-year-old runaway who was found “residing with several adults.” Her family was “concerned about her possible involvement in sex trafficking and believed that she was with an older male in Florida,” according to authorities. Another 14-year-old who was described as a “habitual runaway and previous victim of sexual assault” was also rescued.

Authorities also rescued a five-year-old female and seven-year-old male who were taken by their mother, the non-custodial parent, according to authorities. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office issued a felony warrant for kidnapping against the mother and she actively tried to evade arrest, according to U.S. Marshals. (RELATED: Police Find Body Under Pile Of Dirt, Identify Missing Mom Through Her Tattoo)

“Based on the operation at least four (4) felony warrant exist for adults suspected of involvement with MCU minors and the USMS New Orleans Task Force is actively pursuing these fugitives,” authorities said.

“This work is being done with our partners while our office still performs its critical USMS missions,” U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Louisiana Scott Illing said.

The New Orleans Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Police Department were also involved in the operation, according to the press release.