A major sting operation in New Orleans led to the discovery of five missing teenage girls and the arrest of 30 sex offenders, the US Marshals Service announced in a press release. The multi-agency initiative referred to as “Operation Boo Dat,” was conducted between mid-October and December 24, with all of the arrests being men accused of sex offender registry violations. The girls were said to be between the ages of 14 and 17.
- The arrested suspects were guilty of heinous crimes. For instance, US Marshals revealed on Monday that one of the men was wanted for raping a 12-year-old girl in an abandoned house, while another was suspected of sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl in June in San Patricio County, Texas.
- Some of the girls were runaways. One of the girls was said to be a 16-year-old who stole a relative’s car and a handgun and left home. She was found in a house with “multiple adults including a strip club dancer.” Two sisters, aged 15 and 16, were also found in an apartment in Baton Rouge and the US Marshals believe they “may be the victims of adult(s) felony criminal sexual activities.”
- The operation was widespread and very extensive. As the press release shared, the investigation was a major operation that aimed to protect young people and get dangerous sex offenders off the streets. “During Operation Boo Dat over one hundred sex offender compliance checks were also attempted or completed in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes,” the Service said. “Sex Offender compliance checks 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. Often countless hours of follow-up investigative work are required during and after a compliance check.”
- Multiple agencies worked together on this task. The US Marshals were assisted by the New Orleans Police Department, The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police, and USMS New Orleans Task Force.