The U.S. Marshals in the District of Maryland announced on Friday that 18 missing children were recovered as a result of the continuation of "Operation Not Forgotten."
During the 60-day operation, officers focused on finding missing children that were in potential danger. Eleven children returned to their guardians on their own and 102 reportedly missing children were confirmed to have returned to their guardians.
"Through the collaborative efforts of all involved, the Capitol Area Regional fugitive task force in the district of Maryland was able to recover or locate a total of 131 children," said U.S. Marshal Johnny L. Hughes in a statement.
"This number is broken down by 18 recoveries of previously missing children 11 children as self returned, and 102 children ever reported missing in the United States Marshal service was able to confirm their whereabouts."
“Children are a blessing and are America’s future leaders,” he continued, “We must always protect their innocence and defend them from physical and sexual abuse by predators and unscrupulous individuals.”
Last year around October, 27 missing children were rescued following a five-day-long operation in Virginia.
According to the founder of a nonprofit organization focused on combating child sex trafficking, former President Donald Trump’s efforts to create an office dedicated to fighting sex trafficking have made an “incredible impact” over the past four years.
“So we’ve seen an incredible impact over the years, over the last four years, particularly toward the support for law enforcement.”