Multiple task forces recovered eight missing and endangered children and arrested 18 sex offenders in Louisiana as part of a two-month investigation, the U.S. Marshals Service announced Tuesday.
Operations “Return of the School Year” and “NO Saints and Sinners 2021” ran in the New Orleans area from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30 as part of two U.S. Marshals task forces, according to a news release. They also uncovered multiple sex offenders with prior convictions involving children, the statement adds.
“This was another example of the results that can be accomplished with continuing law enforcement teamwork,” said U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Louisiana Scott Illing. “Much of this work was also accomplished while dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in the New Orleans metro area.”
According to the U.S. Marshals, the operations also led to the arrests of six others, including three adult males with warrants for sexual battery on a 7-year-old, two counts of production of child porn on a 14-year-old girl, and aggravated rape and kidnapp charges that occurred in 1989, respectively.
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A lifetime registration sex offender from Delaware, Roman E. Byler, had two prior felony sex-based convictions with juveniles, according to the news release. Byler, who was wanted for cutting off his electronic monitor and fleeing his Delaware probation, was found in August, living in New Orleans unregistered in a high drug-trafficking area.
Three children returned themselves during the operation and the Marshals Service found three others, according to the news release. The investigations led to one recovery in Phoenix, where a teenage girl was en route to Las Vegas to meet up with an older man she met on the internet.
The two-month operation uncovered several allegations of human sex trafficking of minors. Three police departments in the New Orleans metro area, three sheriff’s offices across the state, and the state police and department of child and family services assisted the FBI and U.S. Marshals in the investigations.