On Friday the Justice Department announced the completion of a 5-day law enforcement effort, “Operation Find Our Children,” which resulted in the recovery of 27 missing children throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The operation has also confirmed locations of six additional children reported missing but were discovered to be in the custody of their legal guardians.
As stated by the Department of Justice,
“Led by deputy US Marshals from the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, along with members of the US Marshals Service Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force and special agents, police officers and detectives from numerous federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, more than 60 law enforcement investigators formed the primary team in Operation Find Our Children. They were joined by more than 50 employees from the Virginia Department of Social Services and a team of medical professionals and experts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).”
“The Department of Justice is dedicated to protecting the most vulnerable children in our society and ‘Operation Find Our Children’ does just that,” said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen. “While this Virginia operation is the most recent recovery of endangered and missing children led by the US Marshals Service this year, we have also recovered more than 440 kids in Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, Louisiana, and other states. Because of this initiative, the recovered children are now out of harm’s way.”
“What a tremendous testament to the power of cooperation and the mission of federal, state, and local law enforcement,” said US Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger for the Eastern District of Virginia. “There is no greater mission than that of protecting and rescuing the most vulnerable. A huge debt of gratitude to the US Marshal’s Service for their leadership of this operation and to all of the brave women and men of law enforcement who are responsible for saving these children.”
“There is no greater mission for law enforcement than rescuing an endangered child,” said Acting US Attorney Daniel P. Bubar of the Western District of Virginia. “I applaud the US Marshals in the Western and Eastern Districts of Virginia for their leadership and willingness to leverage their expertise and partner with sister agencies to bring missing children home. We stand ready to investigate and prosecute any leads that come from this important operation.”
The US Marshals’ latest effort is part of an on-going effort to rescue missing children and end human trafficking in the United States. The US Marshals previously rescued 45 missing children in “Operation Hope” earlier in October.