Raleigh, NC – The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), in coordination with the Johnston County Sheriff's Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York and New York City Police Department, safely recovered a highly endangered missing juvenile who had been missing from Johnston County, NC, since Oct.12.
On Nov.10, the U.S. Marshals Service in Raleigh was asked by the Johnston County Sheriff's Office to assist in locating an endangered juvenile believed to be a victim of child sex trafficking. Investigators with the Johnston County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Marshals developed information that the missing child was in the Bronx, New York.
The U.S. Marshals, working with Homeland Security Investigations New York and the New York City Police Department, located and recovered the missing juvenile at a residence located in the Bronx Dec. 14 and turned the child over to the New York City Administration for Children’s Services to provide victim assistance and treatment. During a search of the residence, several additional suspected victims of sex trafficking were identified. Homeland Security Investigations New York is currently conducting a criminal investigation into alleged violations of child sex trafficking and pornography federal statutes.
"This is another great example of local and federal law enforcement partnering together for the benefit of our community," said Steve Bizzell, Sheriff of the Johnston County Sheriff's Office.
"The U.S. Marshals are committed to rescuing children and working with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to hold those individuals responsible for human trafficking accountable to the fullest extent of the law," said Michael East, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
"The U.S. Marshals Service considers the missing child mission a priority, one which is worked diligently every day throughout the country," said Chief Inspector Doug Bell, of the agency’s Investigative Operations Division. "Our message to missing children is the motto of our Missing Child Unit: We will find you."
Agencies involved in this investigation included:
- Johnston County Sheriff's Office
- Homeland Security Investigations
- U.S. Marshals Service Sex Offender Investigations Branch
- U.S. Marshals Service Missing Child Unit
- U.S. Marshals Service Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force
- U.S. Marshals Service New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- New York City Police Department
- New York City Administration for Children's Services
The U.S. Marshals Service was given authority to assist state and local law enforcement when requested under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act passed in 2015. Since then, U.S. Marshals have been working jointly with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and their state and local counterparts to recover missing and endangered children.
The U.S. Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency, having served the country since 1789.