The U.S. Marshals on Thursday announced that 39 minors have been recovered as part of “Operation Not Forgotten,” the agency’s program focused on missing children.
The two-week mission, carried out in Georgia cities Atlanta and Macon areas, resulted in 26 children being rescued and 13 more safely located, said the U.S. Marshals in a statement. The operation led to the arrest of nine individuals, who face charges for sex trafficking, parental kidnapping, and registered sex offender violence. Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents assisted in the operation.
“I cannot say enough about Operation Not Forgotten and the men and women behind it,” Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr wrote on social media. “39 – That’s how many young lives are getting a new start, and that’s how we measure success.”
I cannot say enough about Operation Not Forgotten and the men and women behind it.
— GA AG Chris Carr (@Georgia_AG) August 27, 2020
“When we track down fugitives, it’s a good feeling to know that we’re putting the bad guy behind bars. But that sense of accomplishment is nothing compared to finding a missing child,” Darby Kirby, Chief of the U.S. Marshals Missing Child Unit, said in a separate statement. “It’s hard to put into words what we feel when we rescue a missing child, but I can tell you that this operation has impacted every single one of us out here. We are working to protect them and get them the help they need.”
In January, President Donald Trump signed an executive order expanding efforts to fight human trafficking, which authorized over $400 million for operations to combat it.
“My administration is putting unprecedented pressure on traffickers at home and abroad,” Trump said at the time, adding, “we have signed more legislation on human trafficking than any other administration has ever even thought about.”