By Alaa Elassar, CNN
Five endangered and missing teenagers were recovered in New Orleans during a multiagency effort dubbed “Operation Boo Dat 2021” led by the US Marshals Service.
The annual operation, which took place from mid-October to December 24, also led to the arrest of 30 individuals, including 17 who were suspected of felony sex offender registration violations, the US Marshals Service said in a press release.
One of the suspects arrested was a Tier 3 sex offender who was wanted for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl in an abandoned home in New Orleans, US Marshals said. The individual, who was also convicted of attempting to rape a woman in a public library bathroom, will have to register as a sex offender for life, according to the release.
Another suspect was a man wanted on a warrant for alleged aggravated sexual assault on a 14-year-old in San Patricio County, Texas.
“During Operation Boo Dat over one hundred sex offender compliance checks were also attempted or completed in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes,” US Marshals said.
“Sex Offender compliance checks require law enforcement officers to go to the sex offender’s reported address of residence to verify that the person still lives at the provided address. Often countless hours of follow up investigative work are required during and after a compliance check.”
The 2006 Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act requires sex offenders to register with the National Sex Offender Registry and update their registration when they travel or move.
The five missing teenagers rescued were all girls whose ages ranged from 14 to 17. Two of the victims were sisters who “may be victims of adult(s) felony criminal sexual activities,” US Marshals said.
One of the teenagers was a runaway who allegedly stole a family member’s car and and gun, according to the release. The 16-year-old was found in a residence with multiple adults including a strip club dancer.
At least two of the rescued girls were believed to have current or former “possible sex trafficking ties,” according to the release.
The operation was a partnership between the US Marshals Service, the New Orleans Police Department, Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police and USMS New Orleans Task Force.
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