ATLANTA — Thirty-nine children have been rescued following a sex-trafficking bust in Georgia, authorities said.
According to Atlanta’s WSB-TV, during the two-week bust, called “Operation: Not Forgotten,” The U.S. Marshals Service and other agencies searched for missing and exploited children in 20 counties in north and middle Georgia. Investigators found 26 endangered children and 13 missing children, the news outlet reported Thursday.
“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,” the U.S. Marshals Service said in a news release Thursday. “Other children were located at the request of law enforcement to ensure their well-being. USMS investigators were able to confirm each child’s location in person and assure their safety and welfare.”
Authorities arrested nine suspects in connection with the operation, WSB-TV reported. They include the following:
• Moradeyo Amos Bandele, arrested in Port St. Lucie, Florida, on a rape warrant out of Conyers, Georgia;
• Trayvon Moore, arrested in DeKalb County, Georgia, on sex-trafficking and probation violation warrants;
• James Garcia, arrested in Clearwater, Florida, on aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy and incest with a minor warrants out of Whitfield County, Georgia;
• Faye Smith, arrested in Clearwater, Florida, on a probation violation warrant;
• Sally Garcia, arrested in Clearwater, Florida, on an interference with child custody charge;
• Zachary Bailey, arrested in Columbus, Georgia, on charges of human trafficking, enticing of a minor for indecent purpose and enticement of a minor for solicitation;
• Stanson Causey, arrested in Jasper, Georgia, a registered sex offender arrested on a probation violation warrant;
• Kirk Waters, arrested in Newton County, Georgia, on a charge of felon in possession of a firearm;
• Trevonte Shareef, arrested in Newton County, Georgia, on charges of interference with custody and obstruction.
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