New Orleans, LA – A U.S. Marshals Service-led, four-month
operation in the New Orleans metro area has resulted in the rescue or
recovery of 19 children. An additional 20 children were located and/or
self-returned during this operation.
Sponsored and funded by the
agency’s Missing Child Unit (MCU), Operation “This Is the Way Home” ran
from March 1 to June 30 and focused on missing and endangered runaways
in the New Orleans metro area with a focus in Orleans, Jefferson, and
St. Tammany parishes.
One of the recoveries, a 16-year-old male
runaway who was also wanted by the Clarksville, Tennessee, Police
Department on warrants for possession of a firearm, evading arrest,
narcotics violations, theft, and violation of juvenile probation, was
recovered in Slidell in May 2021 with critical assistance from the St.
Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and USMS Middle District of Tennessee.
The teen had been a runaway from Tennessee since February of 2020 and is
believed to have been involved in gang and narcotics activity in St.
The investigation led to the arrest of Kolby
Warren, 21, at a residence in the 59000 block of Preacher’s Oak Lane in
Slidell on charges of possession with intent to distribute narcotics,
illegal possession of stolen firearms, and illegal carrying of weapons.
During this MCU investigation, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s
Office seized $17,586 in U.S. currency, seven firearms (with one being
stolen out of New Orleans and another being a rifle), and illegal
narcotics to include: Codeine, Oxycodone, other Schedule II narcotics,
and Marijuana were seized.
During the children’s recoveries nine
adults were arrested on charges including felony carnal knowledge of a
juvenile and/or contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. An Amber
Alert recovery was also made during the operation. The Amber Alert
issued by Arkansas State Police was on a male child under a month old
missing out of Paragould, Arkansas. That child was recovered safely in
New Orleans. Recoveries during the operation were made in/from the
states of Florida, Arkansas, Texas, and Tennessee.
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 Eastern
District of Louisiana Deputy U.S. Marshals have provided instruction to
other USMS districts and state agencies on how to coordinate their MCU
operations, which have gained national news attention within the last
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.
Marshals Service is heavily involved in a nationwide effort to recover
missing and exploited children. Since 2015, the U.S. Marshals have
assisted in the recovery of more than 1,800 missing children. Since
2015, the Marshals have contributed to the recovery of a missing child
in 75% of cases received and of those, 66% were recovered within seven
days of the U.S. Marshals providing assistance with the case.
“This was a joint operation with our local, state, and federal partners
and teamwork and information sharing made these results possible. I am
extremely proud that the U.S. Marshals Service was tasked with the
mission of locating missing and exploited children,” said U.S. Marshal
for the Eastern District of Louisiana Scott Illing. “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.”
Operation “This Is the Way Home:”
U.S. Marshals Service New Orleans Task Force
New Orleans Police Department
Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office
St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office
Louisiana State Police
FBI New Orleans Field Office
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Louisiana Department of Child and Family
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
firstname.lastname@example.org, or with the
USMS tips app. Crimestoppers 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