LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – The Department of Homeland Security announced in July that a multi-agency operation led to the recovery and/or location of 78 missing minors in the past two months in the area. The operation was led by U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Marshals Service.
The operation, called Operation Rescue Me, started on May 1. According to Homeland Security, the enforcement action focused on locating and recovering missing children in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. “This initiative to locate and rescue missing children addresses our most vulnerable population and will remain one of the priorities of the United States Marshals Service,” said Sonya K. Chavez, U.S. Marshal for the District of New Mexico. “The results of this operation are an example of the strong law enforcement partnerships and collaboratoin between many agencies and this is a key component in addressing this critical area.”
The minors ranged in age between five and 18.
As a result of the operation:
- Three minors were recovered.
- 75 minors were located.
- Two minors remain outstanding.
- The minors recovere dand located were offered services that help identify the potential exploitation of at-risk chicldren.
The operation is ongoing. Along with HSI Las Cruces and the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the operation is a collaboration between the New Mexico State Police, Las Cruces Police, Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office, Anthony Police, Sunland Park Police, the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, and Deliver Fund, a non-profit organization.