New Orleans, Louisiana: The U.S. Marshals Service, in partnership with local law enforcement throughout Louisiana, announced on Monday, September 12, that they had successfully recovered 14 children that had been considered missing and endangered during what was dubbed Operation Summer Knights.
The operation was conducted in the New Orleans metropolitan area between April 30, 2022 and August 31, 2022 and resulted in the arrest of eight individuals.
"I am very proud of the results of Operation Summer Knights and the profound impact it has had on protecting one of the most vulnerable groups in our community. This work could not be accomplished without the support of our federal, state, and local partner agencies involved in safeguarding at-risk children. The U.S. Marshals Service is proud to be a part of a robust MCU (Missing Children's Unit) program founded on law enforcement teamwork that took root in New Orleans starting in 2016," U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Louisiana Enix Smith stated in the press release.
In the information released by the U.S. Marshals, they indicated that one of the noteworthy recoveries was that of a 17-year-old male that had been kidnapped from a residence in Jefferson Parish who was being held for ransom under threats of harm to the teen.
NOLA expanded on that matter saying that the teen, who was being held for $80,000 in ransom, was recovered from the Fat City section of Metairie on July 2 following a vehicle pursuit. The four suspects arrested were between the ages of 17 and 21-years-old.
Other notable recoveries outlined by the U.S. Marshals Service included:
- The 06/23/2022 arrest and recovery of a 16-year-old male runaway for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office who was also wanted by the New Orleans Police Department on a March 2021 felony warrant for 14 counts of Vehicle Burglary in uptown New Orleans. The teen attempted to flee on foot on to Interstate I-10 from the back of a residence but was arrested/recovered without incident. He had run away from a facility in Jefferson Parish in February 2021 and since that time is believed to be linked to multiple felony criminal activity incidents involving firearms across the metro area. During the investigation an adult associate of the runaway rammed a USMS enforcement vehicle in New Orleans East and fled later striking a New Orleans RTA Bus before being apprehended after a foot pursuit.
- The 07/12/2022 recovery of a 13-year-old female for the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office. The teen had run away on 07/10/2022 and was believed to be in contact with an 18-year-old male she met on social media. The teen was recovered in Denham Springs, LA.
- The 07/26/2022 recovery of two 12-year-old females for the New Orleans Police Department who had runway together weeks earlier and were known to be in the company of adult males, possibly planning on leaving the state. Both teens were recovered at a residence in the 2000 block of South Salcedo St. New Orleans by the New Orleans Police Department, HSI, and USMS New Orleans Task Force; an adult male was arrested after the recoveries for Contributing to the Delinquency of Juveniles and Performing Sexually Immoral Act.
- The 08/24/2022 recovery of a 15-year-old female for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. The teen, who claimed to be pregnant and planning on relocating to Texas, was recovered walking on Canal Street with an adult male. The recovery was made by the New Orleans Police Department, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the USMS New Orleans Task Force.
Any information about missing/endangered children should be reported to your local police department and or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-The-Lost. Information about violent fugitives can be provided to the U.S. Marshals Service at (504) 589-6872, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or with the USMS tips app. Crimestoppers GNO may also be contacted with tips at (504) 822-1111.