20 missing children recovered from Atlanta, most suspected as victims of sex trafficking
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - U.S. Marshals recovered 20 missing children from Atlanta in a two-week operation.
The U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force and the Danbury Police Department arrested 35-year-old Wayne Marcell and charged him with first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor after recovering one trafficked and endangered child,
That investigation stemmed from “Operation Not Forgotten 2021,” during which the U.S. Marshals Service Missing Child Unit led a two-week operation in the metro Atlanta area that recovered 20 endangered missing children.
Other participating agencies included the USMS’s Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force (SERFTF), the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and Georgia state and local agencies.
“The U.S. Marshals Service in the District of Connecticut would like to commend the hard work and dedication of all the law enforcement professionals involved in this case,” said Lawrence Bobnick, U.S. Marshal for the District of Connecticut. “With its nationwide reach and investigative focus, the USMS appreciates opportunities such as this case to rescue innocent victims from their abductors.”
Of the 20 recovered, 16 of the children were suspected victims of sex trafficking. These missing children were considered to be some of the most at-risk and challenging recovery cases in the area, based on indications of high-risk factors such as victimization of child sex trafficking, child exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and medical or mental health conditions.
The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 enhanced the U.S. Marshals’ authority to assist federal, state, and local law enforcement with the recovery of missing, endangered, or abducted children, regardless of whether a fugitive or sex offender was involved.
The Marshals established a Missing Child Unit to oversee and manage the implementation of its enhanced authority under the act.
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.
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