New Orleans, LA – A U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) led two-month
operation in the New Orleans, Louisiana metro area has resulted in the
rescue or recovery of 11 children.
Sponsored and funded by the
agency’s Missing Child Unit (MCU), Operation Summer Rescue 2020 ran from
Aug.1 to Sept. 30 and focused on missing and endangered runaways.
One of the recoveries, a 16-year old runaway juvenile male, was
believed to be involved in illegal gang activity in New Orleans
involving firearms. Another involved a 13-year old female rescued in
Nashville, Tennessee with the assistance of the USMS Middle District of
TN Task Force, Metro Nashville Police Department, and the FBI New
Orleans Field Office.
During the two-month operation several
arrests were made during the children’s recoveries, to include an adult
male who was arrested for Aggravated Statutory Rape.
was one of the original U.S. cities to begin a USMS pilot program for
the Missing Child Unit in 2016, and U.S. Marshals Service deputies in
New Orleans have provided instruction to other USMS districts and state
agencies about how to coordinate their MCU operations, which have gained
national news attention this year.
The 2016 New Orleans MCU pilot
program led to the recovery of multiple at-risk children and the arrests
of several adult suspects for human sex trafficking of teens. One of the
cases was featured on local New Orleans metro area news outlets and
resulted in the recovery of two at-risk teens and a baby at a local
hotel on St. Charles Avenue.
During fiscal year 2020, the USMS
New Orleans Task Force recovered or contributed in the recovery of an
additional nine missing/endangered children, with one arrest/recovery in
Lafourche Parish resulting in the seizure of a stolen AR-15 rifle and
narcotics; and the recovery of a missing pregnant teen and the
recovery/arrest of her boyfriend who was an escapee from the Orleans
Parish Juvenile Justice Center.
Another recovery of two children
in New Orleans East in March resulted in the arrest of the recovered
children’s mother. She was wanted on a first-degree murder warrant out
of Laurel, Mississippi, for the killing of her 11-year-old son at a
hotel in Laurel. USMS New Orleans Task Force recovered the woman’s sons,
6 and 9, sitting in a vehicle in New Orleans East. The children were
considered in extreme danger, and an Amber Alert had been issued.
The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 enhanced USMS
authority to assist federal, state and local law enforcement with the
recovery of missing, endangered or abducted children, regardless of
whether a fugitive or sex offender was involved. The USMS established
its Missing Child Unit to oversee and manage the implementation of its
enhanced authority under the act.
In 2019, the USMS helped
recover 295 missing children based on requests for assistance from law
enforcement and has contributed to the recovery of a missing child in
75% of cases received. Additionally, 66% of the recoveries were made
within seven days of the USMS receiving the request for assistance.
Since 2005, the USMS has recovered more than 1,800 missing children.
“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 U.S. Marshal for the Eastern
District of Louisiana Scott Illing. “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
Participants in Operation Summer Rescue:
- U.S. Marshals Service New Orleans Task Force
- Louisiana State Police
- New Orleans Police Department
- Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office
- St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office
- St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office
- Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office
- FBI New Orleans Field Office
- Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services
Any information about missing/endangered children
should be reported to your local police department and or the National
Center for Missing and Exploited Children at
1-800-The-Lost. Information about violent fugitives can be
provided to the U.S. Marshals Service at
(504) 589-6872, via email at
with the USMS tips app. Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans (GNO) may
also be contacted with tips at (504) 822-1111.
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found
First Federal Law Enforcement Agency