ATLANTA — (Editor's note: The video above this story is from "Operation Not Forgotten" 2020.)
A joint operation between the U.S. Marshals and state and local authorities in Georgia recovered 16 suspected victims of child sex trafficking in the metro Atlanta area, the Marshals said on Wednesday.
According to a release, "Operation Not Forgotten 2021" was conducted over two weeks in May. It recovered 20 endangered missing children in all.
A similar operation was conducted last August.
In a release, the Marshals said members of the Georgia Attorney General's Office were embedded in the operation "to consider potential prosecutions as the marshals recovered children who were known or suspected victims of child sexual exploitation and child sex trafficking."
One man, a 35-year-old from Connecticut, has been arrested in connection to the operation, the Marshals release said.
"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," a release said.
The operation was led by the Marshals' Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force and conducted with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as well as 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,” Lawrence Bobnick, U.S. Marshal for the District of Connecticut, said in a statement. “With its nationwide reach and investigative focus, the USMS appreciates opportunities such as this case to rescue innocent victims from their abductors.”