WASHINGTON — Dozens of victims of child sex trafficking have been rescued over the course of the last week as a direct result of the Trump administration’s crackdown on child sex trafficking.
On Thursday the US Marshals Service announced that 26 children had been rescued in Georgia through “Operation Not Forgotten,” a joint effort with the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Georgia state and local officials.
“When we track down fugitives, it’s a good feeling to know that we’re putting the bad guy behind bars. But that sense of accomplishment is nothing compared to finding a missing child,” said Darby Kirby, Chief of the Missing Child Unit, said in a statement.
“It’s hard to put into words what we feel when we rescue a missing child, but I can tell you that this operation has impacted every single one of us out here. We are working to protect them and get them the help they need.”
The bust also resulted in the arrests of 26 individuals on various charges ranging from child sex trafficking, parental kidnapping, registered sex offender violations, drugs and weapons possession, and custodial interference.
Also last week, eight people were arrested on suspicion of child sex crimes in Arizona through another federal sting called “Operation Vampire Cough.”
In a social media statement, the Mesa Police Department said the combined effort with state and federal officials led to the arrests of Cody Watson, 29; Joshua Robinson, 37; Kenneth Castro, 30; Wilbert Buck, 36; Jacob Green, 26; Dylan Hernandez, 20; Brett Wheeler, 20; and Eugene Hubbard, 35.
The suspects were arrested on suspicion of child sex trafficking, luring a child for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor, aggravated luring and money laundering.
Further, 3 arrests were made in Pinellas County, Florida last week and a three year old girl recovered as part of the president’s ongoing effort to combat the child sex trafficking epidemic. Police officials announced that James Garcia has been charged with aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy and incest with a minor. Faye Smith was arrested on a warrant for probation violation and Sally Garcia is being charged with interference with child custody.
To date, of the above arrests have been referenced on CNN, MSNBC or print publications such as the Washington Post.