April 13, 2021
LYON, France – In an INTERPOL -led crackdown on human trafficking and migrant smuggling, authorities in Africa and Europe have rescued nearly 500 victims of human trafficking - including children - and identified some 760 irregular migrants.
Operation Weka, which means “Stop” in Swahili, was carried out from 28 March to 2 April. Authorities from 24 countries representing source, transit and destination locations progressed investigations and exchanged intelligence to dismantle criminal networks behind key routes.
Coordinated by INTERPOL’s Vulnerable Communities unit, Weka has led to a total of 195 arrests - 88 of for human trafficking and 63 on people smuggling charges. The remaining arrests were on other charges such as document fraud, theft, drugs-related crimes and environmental offenses.
This joint operation was supported by a number of partners, with the International Organization for Migration playing a lead role in victim assistance. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime also provided judicial support, and intelligence was generated by AIRCOP, Europol and the ROCK - AU-Horn of Africa Initiative on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling.
SOURCE 1: INTERPOOL
SOURCE 2: ABC NEWS
Participating countries: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Brazil, Cape-Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Malawi, Morocco, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe.
March 18, 2021
The U.S. Marshals Service said four of the rescued children are believed to have been involved in child sex-trafficking.
BUCKS COUNTY, PA — U.S. Marshals and other law enforcement agencies in Philadelphia and Bucks County say they recovered 16 missing children during a month-long operation, including four believed to be involved in sex trafficking.
Announced Thursday, Operation Safeguard was a multi-agency operation focused on human trafficking and "the location and recovery of critically missing and exploited children," according to the marshals service.
The operation focused on 26 missing-child cases in the area, with six of them believed to be related to child sex trafficking, authorities said. Over four weeks, 16 children were "recovered at the request of law enforcement to ensure the child's well-being," the marshals service said.
Four of those children are involved in active child sex-trafficking investigations, according to the service.
A news release Thursday morning did not specify how many of the children were found in Bucks County, Philadelphia or elsewhere. A Bucks County law enforcement spokesman did not immediately reply to a message from Patch early Thursday.
"I applaud the exceptional cooperation among our respective agencies in combating this most abhorrent affront to society," said Eric Gartner, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. "Our hope is for a better future for the 16 children we recovered. Our resolve remains steadfast in finding other children in peril."
Agencies involved in the operation, which ran from Feb. 15-March 15, included the marshals service the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Philadelphia Department of Hunan Services, Bucks County Children Youth Services, the Philadelphia Police Department's human trafficking unit and the FBI.
According to authorities, the children targeted in the operation were considered some of the most at-risk and challenging cases in the area, based on factors including sex trafficking, child exploitation, sexual or physical abuse and medical and mental-health conditions.
The U.S. Marshals Service created a missing-child unit after Congress passed the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, which enhanced the agency's authority in such cases. Since 2015, the marshals service has recovered more than 1,700 missing children.
The U.S. Marshals Eastern District of Pennsylvania Fugitive Task Force is made up of law enforcement officers led by Deputy U.S. Marshals in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties.
Source 1: PATCH.com
Source 2: U.S. Marshals Service
SAVING THE CHILDREN IS BASED ON THE INTEGRITY THAT ONE VOICE CAN ACHIEVE GREATNESS
LOS ANGELES — A statewide operation to fight human trafficking in California led to 450 arrests and the rescue of dozens of victims, including 13 children, authorities announced Thursday.
“Operation Reclaim and Rebuild” The operation rescued 39 victims who were forced or tricked into sex work or other labor, authorities said.
Source 1: US NEWS
Source 2: ABC 10 NEWS
March 11, 2021
Kidnapping survivor Amanda Berry has teamed up with U.S. Marshals to find over 50 missing children
"In the beginning, I was so scared to do anything," she said. "I was really scared to leave the house and you know, being noticed. But now I just feel like I take it more as a blessing that I am on this side and that I am blessed enough to be able to help and I can finally use my voice for good."
Source 1 Up Worthy (FULL STORY)
Source 2 FOX 8 News Cleveland
“While this joint operation lasted approximately 30 days, HSI Dallas will continue working relentlessly to identify and recover missing children who become vulnerable to human traffickers across the North Texas region,” said HSI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Spradlin. “Our continued collaboration with our local, state and federal law-enforcement partners and non-governmental organizations is vital to combatting this global epidemic.
Source 1 U.S. DEPARTMENT
" Never Stop You Keep Going Then After That You Go Some More Until Every Single Child Is Rescued " Ricker Yankowski
The FBI has seen a spike in human trafficking-related crimes in recent years, with the bureau reporting more than 1,800 pending investigations as of November 2020
More than two dozen law enforcement agencies and non-governmental agencies participated in "Operation Lost Angels," which began Jan. 11 as part of Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
"The FBI considers human trafficking modern-day slavery, and the minors engaged in commercial sex trafficking are considered victims," Assistant FBI Director Kristi K. Johnson said, according to FOX 11 Los Angeles. "While this operation surged resources over a limited period of time with great success, the FBI and our partners investigate child sex trafficking every day of the year and around the clock.
Several of the children returned to commercial sex trafficking after they were located by authorities, either voluntarily or no coercion, requiring authorities to make several interventions.
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at (888) 373-7888 or visit https://humantraffickinghotline.org/.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2021
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas announced today that 31 DFW-area children have been located, recovered, or rescued as a result of “Operation Missing in the Metroplex,” a month-long operation led by the U.S. Marshals Service and Homeland Security Investigations.
The federal agencies partnered with four local police departments – the Arlington Police Department, the Dallas Police Department, the Fort Worth Police Department, and the Grand Prairie Police Department – to locate the missing minors.
If your child is missing, call local law enforcement immediately, and provide them with your child’s name, height, weight, any other descriptive identifiers (glasses, braces, etc), and the circumstances under which they went missing. Then, consider calling the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) for additional support.
During a two-week-long effort, dubbed "Operation Not Forgotten," the Marshals Service worked with state and local law enforcement to rescue 26 children and safely locate another 13.
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has developed awareness and training materials to help increase awareness and educate on the indicators of human trafficking.
The U.S. Marshal Service has been working with its state and local partners over the past 20 days to find and recover missing juveniles from the Cuyahoga County area.
So far, 25 missing and endangered children have been recovered, and they have been between the ages of 13 and 18, according to a news release.
Police believe 100 more children have suffered abuse and are working to identify them.
Operation Blackwrist was launched by Interpol after it detected images showing 11 boys aged under 13 being abused on a site where people can use encrypted software to maintain secrecy.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials report the disruption of more than 160 human smuggling stash house operations this fiscal year just in South Texas. The data provides a rare glimpse into the level of Mexican cartel stash house operations occurring in this region alone.
September 10, 2020 - An Oklahoma man who allegedly filmed himself sexually abusing a baby and distributing the video via social media has been arrested today by U.S. Marshals (USMS) in Texas. Members of the USMS Lone Star Fugitive Task Force - Austin Division - took Brice Gage Watkins into custody at a known associate’s residence in San Marcos, Texas.
The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of an Enid man wanted on charges he manufactured and distributed child sex abuse images. The U.S. Marshals Western District of Oklahoma Metro Fugitive Task Force is working with the Enid Police Department to locate and arrest Brice Gage Watkins, who is alleged to have filmed himself sexually abusing a baby and distributing the video via social media.
September 09, 2020 - U.S. Marshal Martin J. Pane announces the arrests of Luis Miguel Gonzalez-Soto and Joshua Soto-Colon. On July 20th, the York City Police Department investigated a fist fight that ended with the shooting and wounding of a man. Detectives obtained arrest warrants charging Gonzalez-Soto and Soto-Colon with aggravated assault.
September 08, 2020 - On August 21st the Baltimore Police Department investigated a traffic accident in which three bicyclists were struck by a vehicle before fleeing the scene. The investigation revealed that Brian Adams allegedly intentionally struck the bicyclists – momentarily pinning one to a vehicle. On August 27th, officers obtained an arrest warrant charging him with three counts of attempted 1st degree murder.
U.S. Marshal Tyreece Miller announces capture of second escaped Dyer County prisoner. Michael Bolden was arrested last night by the U.S. Marshals in Rock Island, Ill. They were working from information developed by the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force.
September 04, 2020 - The Kansas Fugitive Apprehension Task Force recovered a missing and endangered child, 14, that had been missing from the state of Washington since August 05, 2020.
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