Five missing and endangered teenage girls were recovered by U.S. Marshals in a monthslong operation that also saw the arrests of 30 individuals, the agency said late last month.
The annual operation sponsored by the U.S. Marshals, dubbed “Operation Boo Dat,” took place from mid-October to mid-December around the New Orleans area with the help of several Louisiana police and sheriff departments. The five girls who were found ranged from age 14 to 17, according to a U.S. Marshal news release.
One of the girls was a 16-year-old who had left her home, allegedly stealing a relative’s vehicle and handgun, according to the release. She was found at a New Orleans home living with several adults, including a strip club dancer, the agency said.
According to the agency, a second recovery included a 14-year-old “with possible sex trafficking ties” found in New Orleans with a 17- and 15-year-old. The trio said they were stranded by men because one of the men’s cousins was shot. A third recovery found a 15-year-old runaway with “prior human sex trafficking issues” in Baton Rogue, Louisiana, but their sex trafficker had recently been murdered.
A fourth and fifth recovery found two sisters, ages 15 and 16, in a Baton Rouge apartment who “may be victims of adult(s) felony criminal sexual activities,” the agency added.
USA TODAY OPINION:Ghislaine Maxwell trial left me reliving the trauma of my own sexual abuse as a child
‘THEY TOOK MY LIFE AWAY’:Teen girl jailed by untrustworthy cop must be allowed to sue
From Oct. 19 to Dec. 24, U.S. Marshals said they made 30 arrests as part of the operation, with 17 of them being for felony sex offender registration violations. Part of the operation included authorities completing over 100 sex offender compliance checks, which “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.”
Arrests included Lorenzo Oliver, who authorities said had a felony warrant for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl in an abandoned New Orleans home. He had previously been convicted of attempted forcible rape and sexual battery in 2015.
Oliver is a tier-three sex offender, the most serious classification, and a registered sex offender for life. Two other tier-three sex offenders were arrested during the operation.
Also arrested was Lamonte Versill Morris, who authorities said has a warrant in San Patricio County, Texas, for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in June. A 17-year-old girl was also arrested on a felony warrant for human trafficking. She was “known to have prior ties to several female runaways from New Orleans as well as ties to organized gang activities.”
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter @jordan_mendoza5.
‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort