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U.S. Marshals Rescue 19 Missing, Endangered Children During 4-Month Operation

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By Steve Neavling

Nineteen missing and endangered children were rescued during a four-month, U.S. Marshals Service-led operation in the New Orleans area. 

Dubbed “This Is The Way Home,” the operation focused on missing and endangered runaways between March 1 and June 30. 

Nine adults were arrested in connection with the missing children. 

One of the recovered teens, a 16-year-old runaway, was wanted by police in Tennessee on warrants for possession of a firearm, evading arrest, narcotics violations, theft and violation of juvenile probation. 

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, which assisted, seized more than $17,500 in cash, seven firearms, and drugs. 

“This was a joint operation with our local, state, and federal partners and teamwork and information sharing made these results possible,”  Scott Illing, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Louisiana, said in a news release. “I am extremely proud that the U.S. Marshals Service was tasked with the mission of locating missing and exploited children. 

“While 19 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 across 13 parishes. A sex offender fugitive operation (NO Saints and Sinners 2021) was also ongoing in the district at the same time resulting in over 35 additional felony arrests, along with our other judicial missions. Our local, state, and federal partners embrace the opportunity to conduct such meaningful operations for the community, in addition to their more traditional law enforcement activities to combat the rise in violent crime.” 


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