US Marshals Service, 'Operation Not Forgotten,' has rescued more than three dozen children from sex trafficking in Georgia.
The US Marshals announced they found 13 missing children and rescued 26 endangered kids during the two-week operation.
This operation spanned across 20 counties in Georgia.
Investigators also filed 26 arrest warrants and additional charges for allegations, including sex trafficking, parental kidnapping, and registered sex offender violations.
In addition, they arrested nine suspects.
Speaking of the operation, Donald Washington, director of the Marshals Service, said:
"The US Marshals Service is fully committed to assisting federal, state, and local agencies with locating and recovering endangered missing children, in addition to their primary fugitive apprehension mission."
Meanwhile, Washington and his team vowed to continue rescuing more kids.
"The message to missing children and their families is that we will never stop looking for you."
Darby Kirby, chief of the Missing Child Unit, also said:
"When we track down fugitives, it's a good feeling to know that we're putting the bad guy behind bars."
"But that sense of accomplishment is nothing compared to finding a missing child."
"It's hard to put into words what we feel when we rescue a missing child."
"But I can tell you that this operation has impacted every single one of us out here."
While Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr added:
"[We] measure success on how many lives we have saved, and that will have a new and fresh start."
The Missing Victims Were 'Some of the Most At-Risk and Challenging Recovery Cases
The officers based this conclusion on several indications of high-risk factors.
These factors include 'victimization of child sex trafficking, child exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and medical or mental health conditions.'
Governor Brian P. Kemp praised the efforts of the authorities and special investigation teams responsible for the huge rescue.
"I applaud the work of law enforcement in 'Operation Not Forgotten.'"
"We'll continue to work around the clock to bring an end to human trafficking."
"[We will] also ensure the perpetrators of this evil industry know they have no place in our state."
According to Washington, the FBI has reports of more than 421,000 missing children at the time.
And 90 percent of these kids are endangered runaways. Washington said one in 6 of the endangered runaways is likely to become the victim of sex trafficking.
He also said that in Atlanta, sex traffickers lure more than 300 young girls every month.