Dozens of missing children found in Georgia, 15 victims of sex trafficking

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Dozens of Georgian children at risk or missing – including 15 victims of sex trafficking – were rescued in a recent two-week operation, officials said.”Operation Not Forgotten,” carried out in Atlanta and Macon this month, resulted in the rescue of 26 children, the safety of 13 children and the arrest of nine criminal associates, the US Marshals Service said in a statement. press release Thursday.

Fifteen of those children have been sexually trafficked, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, citing authorities.

Officials say they have also cleared 26 arrest warrants and laid additional charges for alleged crimes related to sex trafficking, kidnapping of relatives, recorded sex offender offenses, possession of drugs and weapons. and interference with detention.

In addition to the US Marshals Service’s Missing Children Unit, the agency’s Southeastern Regional Fugitive Task Force, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the State of Georgia and local agencies were involved in the bust, officials said.

Children were considered among the most risky and difficult recovery cases in the region – due to evidence of child sex trafficking and other high risk factors including child exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse and health or mental health problems, authorities said. .

“When we hunt down fugitives, it’s a good feeling to know that we are putting the bad guy behind bars. But that sense of accomplishment is nothing compared to the search for a missing child, ”Darby Kirby, head of the Missing Children Unit, said in a statement.

“It’s hard to put into words how we feel when we rescue a missing child, but I can tell you that this operation has had an impact on all of us here. We are working to protect them and give them the help they need. “

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