Operation Not Forgotten

April 1, 2021
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“We will never stop looking for you.”

How one investigation uncovers 39 missing children and what it teaches us about child trafficking in America.

Operation Not Forgotten

  • Two-week operation in Atlanta & Macon, Georgia.
  • U.S. Marshals (federal forces) working with state and local law enforcement and the National Center for Endangered and Missing Children.
  • 26 children rescued & 13 missing children safely located.
  • Ages ranged 3-17 years-old.
  • 9 arrests made.

Historical Context

  • U.S. Marshals: First *federal* law enforcement agency in U.S. history.
  • 1789: President George Washington appointed 13 Marshals.
  • 2006: Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act gave U.S. Marshals a new role finding fugitive sex offenders.
  • 2015: Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act empowered the U.S. Marshals to help with missing children cases with local law enforcement.
“We will never stop looking for you. That’s [the] message. There is no more meaningful work that law enforcement does than rescuing children. Our children are not for sale and they are not ever forgotten.”

U.S. Marshals Director Washington on 'Operation Not Forgotten.' Local media reported of the 26 minors rescued, 15 were being sex trafficked, a crime the Natl Center for Missing & Exploited Children says happens in all 50 states.

The U.S. Marshals arrest 361 people on average each day. Famous U.S. Marshals include Frederick Douglas, appointed in Washington D.C. in 1877 (first African-American U.S. Marshal) and Wyatt Earp, who along with his brothers participated in a famous western "showdown" at the O.K. Corral.

Here’s the press release for Operation Not Forgotten

Here’s a good write-up from local news in Atlanta: READ HERE

INTERESTING Fact Sheet on U.S. Marshalls: https://www.usmarshals.gov/duties/factsheets/overview.pdf

Historic Timeline featuring Frederick Douglas: https://www.usmarshals.gov/history/timeline/index.html

Missing Child Program factsheet: https://www.usmarshals.gov/duties/factsheets/missing_child_program.pdf

by Jenna Lee,