Authorities in Virginia were able to recover more than two dozen missing children as part of a five-day operation.
In a press release, the Department of Justice announced that “Operation Find Our Children” had found 27 missing children and had confirmed the location of six additional children who had been previously reported as missing but were found with their legal guardians. It is unclear what led to the initial missing report of these six children.
“I can think of no more critical or satisfying mission for a law enforcement officer, than rescuing an endangered child,” said Nick E. Proffitt, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This operation brought together a formidable team that was, and is, determined to come to the aid of our youth and bring to justice those among us that choose to prey on these vulnerable children. I am proud of the Deputy Marshals in the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia and their partners for the work they accomplished this week – and the results speak for themselves; these 27 children are safe once again. I am deeply humbled and highly honored that our team in Eastern Virginia is a continuing part of this critical Marshals Service mission. We want the missing children across this great nation to know the U.S. Marshals Service will never stop looking for you, we will find you.”
The operation was conducted with the help of U.S. Marshals from the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, as well as members of the U.S. Marshals Service Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, and police officers and detectives from multiple federal, state, and local agencies. Another 50 employees of the Virginia Department of Social Services and medical professionals and experts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children aided in the operation as well.
“The Department of Justice is dedicated to protecting the most vulnerable children in our society and ‘Operation Find Our Children’ does just that,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen said in the press release. “While this Virginia operation is the most recent recovery of endangered and missing children led by the U.S. Marshals Service this year, we have also recovered more than 440 kids in Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, Louisiana and other states. Because of this initiative, the recovered children are now out of harm’s way.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, last week the Justice Department announced it had recovered 45 missing children and arrested 179 people in connection with human trafficking.
“During the month of October, the U.S. Marshals Service Offices in Southern Ohio and Southern West Virginia, in conjunction with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force participated in operation ‘Autumn Hope.’ Operation Autumn Hope was a multi-agency enforcement operation focused on human trafficking and the location and recovery of missing and exploited children. During the operation 45 missing children were recovered by the U.S. Marshals and 179 arrests were made by the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force. In addition, 20 children were located per the request of law enforcement to ensure the child’s well-being. The operation was supported by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and Ohio state and local agencies,” the U.S. Marshals Service said at the time.