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US Marshals rescue 11 missing runaway children in New Orleans; 2 boys were in 'extreme danger'


Authorities believe that one missing child was involved in illegal gang activity

Shane T. McCoy / US Marshals

In "Operation Summer Rescue 2020," the U.S. Marshals Service focused on tracking down missing runaway children originally from New Orleans. During the two-month operation funded by the agency's Missing Child Unit, U.S. Marshals rescued 11 endangered children, including two boys who were reportedly in extreme danger.

Of the 11 children located, one of them was a 16-year-old boy was found in New Orleans. Authorities believe that the teen was involved in illegal gang activity, including the possession of firearms.

U.S. Marshals tracked down a missing 13-year-old girl, who was found in Nashville, Tennessee. The recovery of the girl included the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service of Middle District Tennessee Task Force, Metro Nashville Police Department, and the FBI New Orleans Field Office, according to the U.S. Marshals press release.

Operation Summer Rescue 2020, which took place between Aug. 1 through Sept. 30, also made several arrests during the rescues. An adult male was arrested for aggravated statutory rape.

A mother wanted on a first-degree murder warrant out of Mississippi was apprehended. She allegedly murdered her 11-year-old son at a hotel in Laurel, Mississippi. U.S. Marshals recovered her two other sons, ages 6 and 9, who were considered to be in "extreme danger" and an Amber Alert had been issued to locate them.

"This is a very important mission that the USMS has been tasked by Congress to oversee, as the safety of children across the country is paramount to this nation's future," said Scott Illing, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Louisiana. "While 11 recoveries may not seem high, this work, which is time consuming, was accomplished while also running our normal day-to-day violent felony offender investigations and sex offender fugitive operations in the district, along with our other judicial missions."

In the past month and a half, the U.S. Marshals Service has rescued nearly 100 missing and endangered children.

Last week, U.S. Marshals reported that they had rescued 35 missing children during "Operation Safety Net" in Ohio.

On Sept. 17, U.S. Marshals Service wrapped up "Operation Triple Beam," a 60-day mission to reduce violent gang crime in Oklahoma City. U.S. Marshals rescued five missing children, made 262 arrests, plus seized illegal firearms and narcotics.

On Sept. 4, the U.S. Marshals Service announced that they rescued eight "highly endangered" missing children in Indiana during "Operation Homecoming."

On Aug. 27, U.S. Marshals located 39 missing children in Georgia and Florida during "Operation Not Forgotten." Authorities said the children were between the ages of 3 to 17. Of the 39 endangered children, 15 were victims of sex trafficking.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement participated in a multi-agency operation last month that resulted in the arrest of five suspected child sexual predators. "Operation Home Alone 2" was able to successfully "target sexual predators who attempted to lure underage children with the intent of engaging in sexual activity."

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