CLEVELAND, Ohio (KTIV) -- The U.S. Marshals Service has recovered 35 endangered and missing children after a month-long operation named Operation Safety Net.
According to a press release, the kids were recovered in northern Ohio in Cuyahoga County. The children recovered during the operation were between the ages of 13 and 18, and 20% of them were tied to human trafficking cases.
“We are proud to assist in Operation Safety Net and I commend the United States Marshals Service for their hard work and dedication toward locating these children," said Chief John Majoy of Newburg Heights. "Many times, they do not know they are a victim and this operation offers hope, freedom and safety they would not otherwise have. This is a fine example of local, state and federal partners all working together for a notable cause. Together we can all make a difference.”
The Marshals say the agency was referred 40 cases of missing or endangered Cuyahoga County children between the ages of 13 and 18. Of those cases, Marshals recovered 35 from Cleveland, Euclid, Akron, Mansfield, Columbus, Miami, Florida, and other cities throughout Ohio.
Based on the results of this operation the United States Marshal for the Northern District of Ohio has now created a permanent Missing Child Unit throughout the 40 counites of Northern Ohio to focus on those missing, abused, neglected and trafficked juveniles
“This was new unchartered territory and the first time we conducted an operation like this. I am very proud of our law enforcement, community and media partners who worked tirelessly to bring our missing and most vulnerable children to safety," said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliot. "The establishment of a permanent unit in Northern Ohio will ensure that our most vulnerable missing children will continue to be found and brought to safety.”