U.S. Marshals MCU Operation ‘Fresh Start’ Recovers Sixteen Missing Endangered Children and Makes Five Arrests

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New Orleans, LA – U.S. Marshals Service Eastern District of
Louisiana New Orleans Task Force (USMS)-led, Missing Child Unit (MCU)
Operation “Fresh Start” was conducted in the New Orleans, Louisiana
metro area from January 01, 2022, until March 31, 2022, resulting in the
rescue or recovery of sixteen (16) missing/endangered children. In
addition, six (6) children self-returned, three (3) children were
recovered as other status, and three (3) more were recovered by other
law enforcement agencies. Five (5) arrests were made during the
operation. Investigations as part of the three-month MCU operation also
uncovered allegations of human sex trafficking in several of the cases.
Some MCU Operation “Fresh Start” highlights include:
-The 03/25/2022, recovery of a 14-year-old
female runaway for the New Orleans Police Department at an address in
Fayetteville, Georgia where she was located by the USMS Southeast
Regional Fugitive Task Force residing with several adults. The teen had
run away from New Orleans in January of 2022 and family were concerned
about her possible involvement in sex trafficking and believed that she
was with an older male in Florida. USMS investigation shows the teen may
have also traveled to the Jacksonville, Florida area as well before
being located in Georgia. -The 01/20/2022, recovery of a
5-year-old female and 7-year-old male that were taken by the
non-custodial parent. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office issued a
felony warrant for the mother of the children for Kidnapping, and she
made active attempts to avoid arrest along the way. The non-custodial
parent/mother took the children to the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida area and
the USMS Florida/Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force was able to
recover the children and arrest the mother on her Jefferson Parish
Sheriff’s Office warrant. -The 01/13/2022, arrests and recovery
of two male teens who escaped from the New Orleans Youth Study Center.
They along with two other teens were being held for violent offenses.
There were allegations after they escaped that they were involved in the
carjacking of an elderly woman. One teen was arrested/recovered by New
Orleans Police Department Violent Offenders Warrant Squad and USMS New
Orleans Task Force at an address in the 8000 block of Stroelitz Street
New Orleans. The second teen was arrested/recovered by New Orleans
Police Department and USMS New Orleans Task Force along with assistance
from multiple law enforcement agencies after a foot chase and
neighborhood lockdown in the 1000 block of North Johnson Street New
Orleans. That teen was found hiding in the backyard of a residence. -The 02/09/2022, recovery of a 15-year-old Ouachita Parish, LA
female diagnosed with Schizophrenia who wrestled free from restraints
and jumped out of an ambulance on the way to Children’s Hospital in New
Orleans. She was located and recovered at an address in New Orleans, LA
with assistance from New Orleans Police Department Special Victim’s
Division – Child Abuse Unit, Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office, and
Xavier University Police Department.-The 03/26/2022, recovery of
a 14-year-old habitual runaway and previous victim of sexual assault for
St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office. With assistance from the West Baton
Rouge Sheriff’s Office and Addis, Louisiana Police Department she was
recovered in Addis, LA and returned to St. Tammany Parish. -The
01/31/2022, recovery of a 1-year-old male child abducted by his father
after the father shot and killed the infant’s grandfather in New
Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans Police Department Violent Offenders
Warrant Squad (VOWS) and USMS New Orleans Task Force immediately began
to search for Edmond RAMEE Sr., and he surrendered to NOPD VOWS on the
evening of 01/31/2022, with the child being safely located and
recovered. -The recovery of a 16-year-old female who had been
reported missing by her father. The female juvenile had run away with
her 2-year-old son who the missing juvenile’s father was also the legal
guardian of. With assistance from the USMS New York/New Jersey Regional
Fugitive Task Force (NY/NJ RFTF) both the teen and her son were located
and recovered in the Bronx, NY. -The 02/08/2022, recovery of
2-year-old male who had been kidnapped by a family member. The child was
taken from his crib and abducted from the residence. NOPD Special
Victim’s Division – Child Abuse Unit and USMS New Orleans Taskforce
began to canvass the area, conducting interviews and authoring search
warrants, that led to the child being returned safely to his mother.
Based on the operation at least four (4) felony
warrant exist for adults suspected of involvement with MCU minors and
the USMS New Orleans Task Force is actively pursuing these fugitives.
New Orleans was one of the original U.S. cities to begin a USMS
pilot program for the Missing Child Unit in 2016, and U.S. Marshals
Service Eastern District of Louisiana Deputy U.S. Marshals have provided
instruction to other USMS districts and state agencies on how to
coordinate their MCU operations, which have gained national news
attention within the last two years. I am very proud of the
cooperative work done by all the agencies involved in safeguarding at
risk children. Our Office is proud to be a part of a robust MCU program
that took root in New Orleans starting in 2016, said U.S. Marshal for
the Eastern District of Louisiana Scott Illing. “This work is being done
with our partners while our office still performs its critical USMS
missions (judicial and witness security, managing federal prisoners,
violent fugitives’ apprehension, sex offender investigations, and
service of federal process). Participants in MCU
Operation: “Fresh Start” included:

U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) New Orleans Task

USMS offices to include: USMS Middle District
of Louisiana, USMS Western District of Louisiana, USMS Southeast
Regional Fugitive Task Force (SERFTF), USMS New York/New Jersey
Regional Fugitive Task Force (NY/NJ RFTF), USMS Florida/Caribbean
Regional Fugitive Task Force (FCRFTF)

New Orleans Police Department

Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office

Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office

West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office

Addis, Louisiana Police Department

Xavier University Police Department

Louisiana State Police

Fayette County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office

New York Police Department (NYPD)

Broward County, Florida Sheriff’s Office

Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) New
Orleans Field Office

Homeland Security (HSI) New Orleans Field

Louisiana Department of Child and Family

Georgia Department of Children and Family

Florida Department of Children and Family

National Center for Missing and Exploited
Children (NCMEC)

Crimestoppers GNO

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
usms.wanted@usdoj.gov, or with the
USMS tips app. Crimestoppers GNO
may also be contacted with tips at (504) 822-1111.
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found
at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

First Federal Law Enforcement Agency