September 28, 2021

News

News Network

U.S. Marshals Operation Results in Recovery of 27 Missing Children in Virginia

19 min read

The Justice Department today announced the completion of a five-day law enforcement effort, dubbed “Operation Find Our Children,” throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia that resulted in the recovery of 27 previously missing children.  The operation also confirmed the location of six additional children previously reported as missing but subsequently discovered by the U.S. Marshals Service as being in the custody of their legal guardian. 

Led by deputy U.S. Marshals from the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, along with members of the U.S. Marshals Service Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force and special agents, police officers and detectives from numerous federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, more than 60 law enforcement investigators formed the primary team in Operation Find Our Children.  They were joined by more than 50 employees from the Virginia Department of Social Services and a team of medical professionals and experts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

The U.S. Marshals Service is leading the way in a nationwide effort to rescue and recover missing and exploited children, and aid in the prevention of human trafficking.  Since 2005, the U.S. Marshals Service has recovered more than 2,000 missing children.  Over the past five years, the agency has recovered missing children in 75 percent of the cases it has received.  Of those recovered, 72 percent were recovered within seven days.

“The Department of Justice is dedicated to protecting the most vulnerable children in our society and ‘Operation Find Our Children’ does just that,” said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen.  “While this Virginia operation is the most recent recovery of endangered and missing children led by the U.S. Marshals Service this year, we have also recovered more than 440 kids in Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, Louisiana and other states.  Because of this initiative, the recovered children are now out of harm’s way.”

“I can think of no more critical or satisfying mission for a law enforcement officer, than rescuing an endangered child,” said Nick E. Proffitt, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia.  “This operation brought together a formidable team that was, and is, determined to come to the aid of our youth and bring to justice those among us that choose to prey on these vulnerable children.  I am proud of the Deputy Marshals in the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia and their partners for the work they accomplished this week – and the results speak for themselves; these 27 children are safe once again.  I am deeply humbled and highly honored that our team in Eastern Virginia is a continuing part of this critical Marshals Service mission.  We want the missing children across this great nation to know the U.S. Marshals Service will never stop looking for you, we will find you.”

“The U.S. Marshals Service has a legendary history of finding fugitives and bringing them to justice,” said Thomas L. Foster, U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Virginia.  “Because of this specialized skill set, finding missing children is a natural extension of the Marshal’s mission.  Although many of the 27 recoveries occurred in Virginia’s larger population centers, seven occurred in the Western District of Virginia to include Roanoke and Abingdon.  This operation brought missing and exploited children to a place of safety and those who made the decision to prey upon them to justice.”

“What a tremendous testament to the power of cooperation and the mission of federal, state, and local law enforcement,” said U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger for the Eastern District of Virginia.  “There is no greater mission than that of protecting and rescuing the most vulnerable.  A huge debt of gratitude to the U.S.  Marshal’s Service for their leadership of this operation and to all of the brave women and men of law enforcement who are responsible for saving these children.”

“There is no greater mission for law enforcement than rescuing an endangered child,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel P. Bubar of the Western District of Virginia.  “I applaud the U.S. Marshals in the Western and Eastern Districts of Virginia for their leadership and willingness to leverage their expertise and partner with sister agencies to bring missing children home.  We stand ready to investigate and prosecute any leads that come from this important operation.”

“The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was pleased to support the U.S. Marshals Service and the many support organizations that helped find and rescue these children,” said John F. Clark, President and CEO of NCMEC.  “Missing children are extremely vulnerable to being trafficked for sex and are at risk of further emotional and physical harm.  Because of this operation, 27 children have been found and are now safe.”

“Virginia Department of Social Services prioritizes and supports the safety and well-being of the children and families in Virginia, and prioritizes work with partners in achieving these goals, including this collaboration with the U.S. Marshals Service and through partnership with the local departments of social services, (LDSS) including those that directly supported the operation,” said Director of the Division of Family Services, Kristin Zagar.

Significant assistance for Operation Find Our Children was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, along with the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, U.S. Treasury Office of Inspector General, Metro Transit Police Department, Virginia State Police, Alexandria Sheriff’s Office, Chesterfield County Police Department, Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office, Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office, Hampton Police Department, Henrico County Police Department, Norfolk Police Department, Prince William County Police Department, Portsmouth Police Department, Richmond City Police Department, Roanoke City Police Department, Virginia Beach Police Department, and Virginia Department of Corrections.

News Network

  • North Carolina Risk Consultant Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud and Illegally Possessing a Firearm
    In Crime News
    A Chapel Hill, N.C., businessman pleaded guilty today to filing a false tax return and being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin for the Middle District of North Carolina.
    [Read More…]
  • Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Hate Crime Charges After Using Dating App to Target Gay Men for Violent Crimes
    In Crime News
    A Texas man pleaded guilty yesterday to federal hate crime charges in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
    [Read More…]
  • Visa Restrictions on Tanzanians for Undermining the Democratic Process and Human Rights
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
  • Grants Management: Agencies Provided Many Types of Technical Assistance and Applied Recipients’ Feedback
    In U.S GAO News
    Technical assistance refers to programs, activities, and services provided by federal agencies to strengthen the capacity of grant recipients and to improve their performance of grant functions. Technical assistance can improve the performance or management of grant program recipients. Technical assistance includes the improvement of grant outcomes, grant management, grantee compliance, project monitoring and evaluation, and interactions with stakeholders. The technical assistance provided by the selected agencies—the Department of Education (Education), the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF), and the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA)—is designed to align with the requirements of each agency's grant programs and the individual grantee's needs. The types of technical assistance provided by agencies varied and included a range of delivery methods shown below. Types of Technical Assistance Provided by Selected Agencies Education tailors its approach to provide technical assistance to grantees based on recipients' needs and their efforts to obtain technical assistance. According to ACF, some grant programs have extensive, dedicated technical assistance that is grant specific, while other grant programs share technical assistance resources provided by multiple technical assistance centers. ACF's technical assistance can be based on program office oversight of the grantees that includes financial and internal control reviews and site visits. For ETA, state and local grantees administer ETA-funded programs throughout the country and technical assistance plays a role in ensuring these programs' successful implementation. According to ETA officials, technical assistance activities are based on grant program objectives. The 10 grant programs GAO reviewed evaluated technical assistance, collected feedback from recipients of the technical assistance, and incorporated feedback into technical assistance. For example, a School Safety National Activities evaluation of one of its national centers included targets for multiple performance measures and the actual performance for each measure. These measures included the percentage of milestones achieved and the percentage of technical assistance and dissemination products and services deemed to be high quality by an independent review panel. The overall goal of technical assistance is to enhance the delivery of agency programs and help ensure grantee compliance. GAO was asked to review issues related to technical assistance for grants at Education, ACF, and ETA. This report (1) describes how Education, ACF, and ETA provide technical assistance to grantees; and (2) examines to what extent these agencies evaluate the technical assistance. For this review, GAO selected 10 grant programs from the three agencies based on fiscal year 2018 funding information and the purpose of the grant. GAO reviewed documents and interviewed agency officials about the technical assistance provided, the provider and recipient of technical assistance, and the amount obligated in fiscal year 2018 for the 10 grant programs reviewed. GAO also reviewed documents and interviewed agencies about the extent to which they evaluated technical assistance, whether they gathered feedback from the recipients of technical assistance, and whether feedback was included in the evaluations for the 10 grant programs reviewed. For more information, contact Michelle Sager at (202) 512-6806 or SagerM@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Sues Florida Man for Flagrant Violations of the Rivers and Harbors Act
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) announced that the United States has filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida against Fane Lozman for violations of the Rivers and Harbors Act (RHA) in connection with Mr. Lozman’s obstruction of Lake Worth Lagoon, a navigable waterway, in Riviera Beach, Florida.
    [Read More…]
  • Judiciary Steps Up Calls to Enact Security Measures
    In U.S Courts
    Citing the latest act of violence this year, in which a judge's family and officers at two federal courthouses have come under attack, the Judiciary has stepped up its call to congressional leaders for a series of safety measures “to protect the safety of the public at our nation’s courthouses.”
    [Read More…]
  • Samoa Independence Day
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Japanese CEO and Employees Charged in Scheme to Defraud U.S. Navy and Dump Wastewater in Ocean
    In Crime News
    Three Japanese nationals, including the president and chief executive officer of Yokohama, Japan-based Kanto Kosan Co. Ltd. (Kanto Kosan) were indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday in connection with an alleged long-running scheme to defraud the U.S. Navy and pollute Japanese waters by dumping contaminated water removed from U.S. Navy ships into the ocean.
    [Read More…]
  • Aviation Cybersecurity: FAA Should Fully Implement Key Practices to Strengthen Its Oversight of Avionics Risks
    In U.S GAO News
    Modern airplanes are equipped with networks and systems that share data with the pilots, passengers, maintenance crews, other aircraft, and air-traffic controllers in ways that were not previously feasible (see fig. 1). As a result, if avionics systems are not properly protected, they could be at risk of a variety of potential cyberattacks. Vulnerabilities could occur due to (1) not applying modifications (patches) to commercial software, (2) insecure supply chains, (3) malicious software uploads, (4) outdated systems on legacy airplanes, and (5) flight data spoofing. To date, extensive cybersecurity controls have been implemented and there have not been any reports of successful cyberattacks on an airplane's avionics systems. However, the increasing connections between airplanes and other systems, combined with the evolving cyber threat landscape, could lead to increasing risks for future flight safety. Figure 1: Key Systems Connections to Commercial Airplanes The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established a process for the certification and oversight of all US commercial airplanes, including the operation of commercial air carriers (see fig. 2). While FAA recognizes avionics cybersecurity as a potential safety issue for modern commercial airplanes, it has not fully implemented key practices that are necessary to carry out a risk-based cybersecurity oversight program. Specifically, FAA has not (1) assessed its oversight program to determine the priority of avionics cybersecurity risks, (2) developed an avionics cybersecurity training program, (3) issued guidance for independent cybersecurity testing, or (4) included periodic testing as part of its monitoring process. Until FAA strengthens its oversight program, based on assessed risks, it may not be able to ensure it is providing sufficient oversight to guard against evolving cybersecurity risks facing avionics systems in commercial airplanes. Figure 2: Federal Aviation Administration's Certification Process for Commercial Transport Airplanes GAO has previously identified key practices for interagency collaboration that can be used to assess interagency coordination. FAA coordinates with other federal agencies, such as the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Homeland Security (DHS), and with industry to address aviation cybersecurity issues. For example, FAA co-chairs the Aviation Cyber Initiative, a tri-agency forum with DOD and DHS to address cyber risks across the aviation ecosystem. However, FAA's internal coordination activities do not fully reflect GAO's key collaboration practices. FAA has not established a tracking mechanism for monitoring progress on cybersecurity issues that are raised in coordination meetings, and its oversight coordination activities are not supported by dedicated resources within the agency's budget. Until FAA establishes a tracking mechanism for cybersecurity issues, it may be unable to ensure that all issues are appropriately addressed and resolved. Further, until it conducts an avionics cybersecurity risk assessment, it will not be able to effectively prioritize and dedicate resources to ensure that avionics cybersecurity risks are addressed in its oversight program. Avionics systems, which provide weather information, positioning data, and communications, are critical to the safe operation of an airplane. FAA is responsible for overseeing the safety of commercial aviation, including avionics systems. The growing connectivity between airplanes and these systems may present increasing opportunities for cyberattacks on commercial airplanes. GAO was asked to review the FAA's oversight of avionics cybersecurity issues. The objectives of this review were to (1) describe key cybersecurity risks to avionics systems and their potential effects, (2) determine the extent to which FAA oversees the implementation of cybersecurity controls that address identified risks in avionics systems, and (3) assess the extent to which FAA coordinates internally and with other government and industry entities to identify and address cybersecurity risks to avionics systems. To do so, GAO reviewed information on key cybersecurity risks to avionics systems, as reported by major industry representatives as well as key elements of an effective oversight program, and compared FAA's process for overseeing the implementation of cybersecurity controls in avionics systems with these program elements. GAO also reviewed agency documentation and interviewed agency and industry representatives to assess FAA's coordination efforts to address the identified risks. GAO is making six recommendations to FAA to strengthen its avionics cybersecurity oversight program: GAO recommends that FAA conduct a cybersecurity risk assessment of avionics systems cybersecurity within its oversight program to identify the relative priority of avionics cybersecurity risks compared to other safety concerns and develop a plan to address those risks. Based on the assessment of avionics cybersecurity risks, GAO recommends that FAA identify staffing and training needs for agency inspectors specific to avionics cybersecurity, and develop and implement appropriate training to address identified needs. develop and implement guidance for avionics cybersecurity testing of new airplane designs that includes independent testing. review and consider revising its policies and procedures for monitoring the effectiveness of avionics cybersecurity controls in the deployed fleet to include developing procedures for safely conducting independent testing. ensure that avionics cybersecurity issues are appropriately tracked and resolved when coordinating among internal stakeholders. review and consider the extent to which oversight resources should be committed to avionics cybersecurity. FAA concurred with five out of six GAO recommendations. FAA did not concur with the recommendation to consider revising its policies and procedures for periodic independent testing. GAO clarified this recommendation to emphasize that FAA safely conduct such testing as part of its ongoing monitoring of airplane safety. For more information, contact Nick Marinos at (202) 512-9342 or MarinosN@gao.gov, or Heather Krause at (202) 512-2834 or KrauseH@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Soldiers charged with alien smuggling
    In Justice News
    Two Fort Hood active [Read More…]
  • U.S. and Ukraine Agree to Establish a Secure Communications Link for Risk Reduction
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • U.S. Policy Toward China: Deputy Secretary Biegun’s Remarks to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
    In Human Health, Resources and Services
    Stephen Biegun, Deputy [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Requires Waste Management To Divest Assets In Order To Proceed With Advanced Disposal Services Acquisition
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice announced today that Waste Management, Inc. (WMI) will be required to divest 15 landfills, 37 transfer stations, 29 hauling locations, over 200 waste collection routes, and other assets in order to proceed with its $4.6 billion acquisition of Advanced Disposal Services, Inc. (ADS).  The department said that without the divestiture, the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition for small container commercial waste collection or municipal solid waste disposal services in over 50 local markets.
    [Read More…]
  • Supporting a Healthy, Sustainable Mekong River
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Ned Price, Department [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Sues to Block Visa’s Proposed Acquisition of Plaid
    In Crime News
    Today, the Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to stop Visa Inc.’s $5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid Inc. Visa is a monopolist in online debit services, charging consumers and merchants billions of dollars in fees each year to process online payments.  Plaid, a successful fintech firm, is developing a payments platform that would challenge Visa’s monopoly. 
    [Read More…]
  • Attorney General William P. Barr Announces the Appointment of Gregg N. Sofer as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas
    In Crime News
    Attorney General William [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken and President of Palau Surangel Whipps, Jr. Before Their Meeting
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • NASA Invites Public to Share Excitement of Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Launch
    In Space
    A Mars photo booth, [Read More…]
  • EEG Testing and Private Investment Companies Pay $15.3 Million to Resolve Kickback and False Billing Allegations
    In Crime News
    Two Texas companies have agreed to pay a combined $15.3 million to resolve allegations of kickbacks and other misconduct resulting in the submission of false claims to federal health care programs.
    [Read More…]
  • Patient Recruiter Convicted in $2.8 Million Telemedicine Scheme Against Medicare
    In Crime News
    The owner of an Orlando-area telemarketing call center was convicted for his role in a kickback scheme involving expensive genetic tests and fraudulent telemedicine services that resulted in the payment of approximately $2.8 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare.
    [Read More…]
Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.