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Louisiana's Operation 'Fresh Start' Uncovers Alleged Sex Trafficking Ring & Rescues 16 Missing Kids

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
US Marshals entering building

It’s easy to see the world for the dark place that it can so often be and considering recent events, it's very understandable to be pessimistic about humanity and the future. With that being said, it’s worth remembering that there is pushback.

For all of the darkness in the world, there are people trying to make it a little bit brighter.

A team of US Marshals has been working to reverse some of these darker aspects of humanity by focusing their attention on ending human trafficking.

Louisiana US Marshals located 16 children in an investigation into child trafficking during operation 'Fresh Start.'

From January of 2022 up until April, the US Marshals Service of Louisiana led to the rescue of 16 children as well as five arrests of adults in connection with trafficking.

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As horrific as the kidnapping and trafficking of children are, it’s somehow made even worse by the fact that some of the adult suspects are close family members of the children.

Two of the arrested adults are parents of the rescued children.

Horrifically, at least two of the adults that were arrested in the investigation were parents of some of the children.

One of the adults that were arrested was the mother of one of the children. Police released a statement regarding one of the adult suspects, saying, “The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office issued a felony warrant for the mother of the children for Kidnapping, and she made active attempts to avoid arrest along the way.”

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In another case, it was a child’s father that was arrested. At the end of January, a 1-year-old child was reportedly kidnapped by his father who had shot and killed the infant’s grandfather. The baby was later rescued.

The Marshals weren’t the only agency involved in the operation.

US Marshal Scott Illing made a statement regarding the operation and the cooperation between law enforcement, saying, “I am very proud of the cooperative work done by all the agencies involved in safeguarding at-risk children. Our Office is proud to be a part of a robust MCU program that took root in New Orleans starting in 2016.”

While this has been a great step in saving lives and possibly preventing future child trafficking, the Marshals made it clear that the work isn’t done yet, as several suspects are still at large.

The agency released a statement regarding the individuals that they are still looking for in connection with the investigation, saying, “Based on the operation at least four (4) felony warrant(s) exist for adults suspected of involvement with MCU minors and the USMS New Orleans Task Force is actively pursuing these fugitives.”

Hopefully, everyone who had any hand in hurting and trafficking these children is brought to justice and receives sentences commensurate with their horrific crimes.

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Dan O'Reilly is a writer who covers news, politics, and social justice. Follow him on Twitter.