New Orleans, LA – U.S. Marshals Service Eastern District of Louisiana New Orleans Task Force Missing Child Unit Operation "Summer Knights" was conducted in the New Orleans metro area from April 30, 2022, through August 31, 2022, resulting in the recovery of fourteen missing or endangered children. In addition, one additional child was located. Eight arrests were made also during the operation.
Missing Child Unit Operation (MCU) Operation "Summer Knights" highlights include:
- The 06/23/2022 arrest and recovery of a 16-year-old male runaway for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office who was also wanted by the New Orleans Police Department on a March 2021 felony warrant for 14 counts of Vehicle Burglary in uptown New Orleans. The teen attempted to flee on foot on to Interstate I-10 from the back of a residence but was arrested/recovered without incident. He had run away from a facility in Jefferson Parish in February 2021 and since that time is believed to be linked to multiple felony criminal activity incidents involving firearms across the metro area. During the investigation an adult associate of the runaway rammed a USMS enforcement vehicle in New Orleans East and fled later striking a New Orleans RTA Bus before being apprehended after a foot pursuit.
- The 07/02/2022 recovery of a 17-year-old male kidnapped from a residence in Jefferson Parish who was being held for ransom with threats to do the teen harm. Prior to the arrests of three suspects, they fled from law enforcement with the victim in a vehicle, ultimately being stopped on the Causeway Bridge where the teen was safely recovered. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and U.S. Marshals Service New Orleans Task Force participated in this recovery.
- The 07/12/2022 recovery of a 13-year-old female for the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office. The teen had run away on 07/10/2022 and was believed to be in contact with an 18-year-old male she met on social media. The teen was recovered in Denham Springs, LA.
- The 07/26/2022 recovery of two 12-year-old females for the New Orleans Police Department who had runway together weeks earlier and were known to be in the company of adult males, possibly planning on leaving the state. Both teens were recovered at a residence in the 2000 block of South Salcedo St. New Orleans by the New Orleans Police Department, HSI, and U.S. Marshals Service New Orleans Task Force; an adult male was arrested after the recoveries for Contributing to the Delinquency of Juveniles and Performing Sexually Immoral Act.
- The 08/24/2022 recovery of a 15-year-old female for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office. The teen, who claimed to be pregnant and planning on relocating to Texas, was recovered walking on Canal Street with an adult male. The recovery was made by the New Orleans Police Department, Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, and the U.S. Marshals Service New Orleans Task Force.
New Orleans, Louisiana and Orlando, Florida were the original U.S. cities to begin the USMS pilot program for the Missing Child Unit in 2016. The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) Eastern District of Louisiana has continued the mission ever since and has provided instruction to other USMS districts along with state and local agencies on how to coordinate their MCU operations.
"I am very proud of the results of Operation Summer Knights and the profound impact it has had on protecting one of the most vulnerable groups in our community. This work could not be accomplished without the support of our federal, state, and local partners agencies involved in safeguarding at-risk children. The U.S. Marshals Service is proud to be a part of a robust MCU program founded on law enforcement teamwork that took root in New Orleans starting in 2016” said Enix Smith, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Participants in MCU Operation: "Summer Knights" included:
- U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) New Orleans Task Force
- New Orleans Police Department
- Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office
- St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office
- Homeland Security (HSI) New Orleans Field Office
- Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
- Crimestoppers GNO
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 email@example.com, or with the USMS tips app. Crimestoppers GNO may also be contacted with tips at (504) 822-1111.