(PatrioticPost.com)- United States Marshals in Ohio have made 179 arrests in part of a massive human trafficking sting, finding 45 missing children in the process. In a press release issued Monday, the U.S. Marshals Service said that their “Autumn Hope” operation had successfully discovered several dozen missing children and saved them from evil human traffickers.
It comes after a multi-agency collaboration effort to find missing and exploited children, and take down the people illegally trafficking these young victims across the country.
The press release described how the U.S. Marshals Service Offices in Southern West Virginia and Southern Ohio, with the help of the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force and Ohio Attorney General’s Office, had also located a further 20 children per the request of local law enforcement to ensure their well-being.
“The operation was supported by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and Ohio state and local agencies,” the press release continued.
The United States Marshals also released some of the sickening details of the cases and explained how a loaded gun was discovered during one of the missing child recoveries.
“The 15-year-old male juvenile had two warrants and is suspected in multiple shootings and a homicide,” the press release explained.
“Another case involved a high-risk 15-year-old girl who was missing from Cleveland,” it continued. “Information developed from that recovery linked her and other possible victims to an individual in Columbus suspected of human trafficking.”
OPERATION AUTUMN HOPE:
In 3 days, 10/20-10/22, CPD officers working PACT (Police And Community Together) made 50 arrests connected with prostitution.
This was a statewide effort by @OhioAG to target prostitution & human trafficking.
— Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) October 26, 2020
Another recovery involved two juveniles who were discovered during a traffic stop, The West Virginia State Patrol had been informed to look out for an adult male driving a specific vehicle. After spotting him on the road, the children were rescued and he was charged with concealment and removal of a minor child.
The huge operation shows just how prevalent human trafficking is in the United States, and just how many children still fall victim to this wicked crime. According to the U.S. Marshals Service, over 2,000 missing children have been discovered by their operations since 2005. And, since 2015, the Marshals have located children in three-quarters of the cases they embarked on.
Peter C. Tobin, United States Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio, thanked everybody who “stepped up for this operation.”
“These are the same personnel who hunt down violent fugitives every day. I’m incredibly proud of them and pleased that they were able to apply those same skills to finding missing children,” he said.