NEW ORLEANS – A U.S. Marshals task force rescued 16 children during a three-month operation that uncovered several allegations of human sex trafficking.
Operation “Fresh Start” transpired between Jan. 1 and March 31 in New Orleans. In addition to rescuing 16 minors, law enforcement authorities made five arrests during the months-long investigation, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
The Marshals Service was joined by investigators from the New Orleans Police Department, the FBI and NYPD, according to the press statement.
U.S. Marshals Service Eastern District of Louisiana New Orleans Task Force, Missing Child Unit Operation “Fresh Start” was conducted from January 01, 2022, until March 31, 2022, resulting in the rescue or recovery of 16 missing/endangered children: https://t.co/3vQAwcIgv2
— U.S. Marshals (@USMarshalsHQ) April 8, 2022
Among those rescued was a five-year-old female and seven-year-old male who were taken by their mother, the non-custodial parent, authorities said. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office issued a felony warrant for kidnapping against the mother who actively tried to evade arrest, according to the Marshals Service.
Also rescued were two 14-year-old runaway girls. One female 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,” Another girl who was described as a “habitual runaway and previous victim of sexual assault” was also rescued, Daily Caller reported.
“Based on the operation at least four (4) felony warrants exist for adults suspected of involvement with MCU minors and the USMS New Orleans Task Force is actively pursuing these fugitives,” officials 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.