39 Missing Children Located in Georgia Sex Trafficking Sting Operation
The children were considered to be some of the most at-risk and challenging cases.
The U.S. Marshals found 39 missing children in Georgia during a two-week mission called "Operation Not Forgotten."
The mission, which took place in August, resulted in the rescue of 26 children, the safe location of 13 children and the arrest of nine criminal associates in Atlanta and Macon, according to a news release.
It was led by the U.S Marshals Service Missing Child Unit in conjunction with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and state and local authorities.
Authorities considered the victims to be some of the most at-risk and challenging cases in the area, based on indications of high-risk factors such as victimization of child sex trafficking, child exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and medical or mental health conditions, according to the news release.
Authorities also cleared 26 arrest warrants and filed additional charges for alleged crimes related to sex trafficking, parental kidnapping, registered sex offender violations, drugs and weapons possession and custodial interference.
“The message to missing children and their families is that we will never stop looking for you," Director of the Marshals Service Donald Washington said in a statement.