Ohio's 'Operation Autumn Hope' Recovers 45 Missing Children

Ruben Fields
October 29, 2020

Earlier this month, the U.S. Marshals Service carried out the biggest anti-human trafficking operation in OH state historical past and recovered 109 survivors throughout the state - 45 of which have been youngsters.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost joined federal, state and local law enforcement partners to announce the success of a statewide anti-human trafficking operation.

Several Ohio agencies took part in this rescue operation, where they traced 109 human trafficking victims and made 179 arrests in the case.

This included a "15-year-old woman lacking from Cleveland whose restoration linked her and different attainable victims to a person in Columbus suspected of human trafficking; a 15-year-old male with two warrants who's a suspect in a number of shootings and a murder; and a 14-year-old woman who was reported lacking by the Lancaster Police Division who was recovered in Columbus inside six hours of being reported lacking", the press launch highlighted. "Every agency on this team looks for the day when no person is bought and sold in Ohio".

The major operation was undertaken in conjunction with state and local agencies, with support by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. "Don't buy sex in OH!"

"My thanks to all personnel who have stepped up for this operation", Peter Tobin, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of OH, said in a statement. "Human trafficking thrives in the shadows of our communities where survivors feel unseen and unheard, and the COVID pandemic has made those shadows bigger and darker, making far too many women, children, and men fall prey".

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'These are the same personnel who hunt down violent fugitives every day.

An additional recovery of two juveniles occurred when the USMS Southern Ohio task force forwarded the information to Marshals in West Virginia. I'm incredibly proud of them and pleased that they were able to apply those same skills to finding missing children.

This is not the first operation took place to recover trafficking victims.

Officials with "Operation Autumn Hope" have said they will continue to be vigilant in tackling the issue of human trafficking and urged other states to do the same.

Officials said the 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 agency said it has recovered missing children in 75 percent of cases its received over the past five years.

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