Where’s the media? U.S. Marshals task force recovers 16 missing children, makes five arrests in Operation “Fresh Start”

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NEW ORLEANS, LA – Operation “Fresh Start,” a three-month operation conducted by the Missing Child Unit (MCU) of the U.S. Marshals Service Eastern District of Louisiana New Orleans Task Force, has resulted in the recovery or rescue of 16 children. The unit also made five arrests and discovered alleged sex trafficking.

According to a press release from the U.S. Marshals Service, Operation “Fresh Start” was conducted from January 1, 2022 through March 31, 2022.

Participants included the U.S. Marshals Service New Orleans Task Force, the New Orleans Police Department, multiple Sheriff’s Offices, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Departments of Child and Family Services in Louisiana, Georgia, and Florida.

Press release author Brian W. Fair, Deputy U.S. Marshal, took note of how New Orleans has spearheaded operations such as “Fresh Start,” saying:

“New Orleans was one of the original U.S. cities to begin a USMS pilot program for the Missing Child Unit in 2016, and U.S. Marshals Service Eastern District of Louisiana Deputy U.S. Marshals have provided instruction to other USMS districts and state agencies on how to coordinate their MCU operations, which have gained national news attention within the last two years.”

The USMS also reported that, in addition to the 16 missing children who were rescued or recovered:

“six (6) children self-returned, three (3) children were recovered as other status, and three (3) more were recovered by other law enforcement agencies.”

Furthermore, the USMS noted that, in addition to the five arrests that were made: 

“[B]ased on the operation at least four (4) felony warrant exist for adults suspected of involvement with MCU minors and the USMS New Orleans Task Force is actively pursuing these fugitives.”

In their press release, the U.S. Marshals highlighted some of the rescues and recoveries that they made during Operation “Fresh Start.”

In one case, a 14-year-old female runaway was found in Fayetteville, Georgia, after her parents reported her possible involvement with sex trafficking.  The investigators discovered that she may have spent some time in the Jacksonville, Florida area before moving to Georgia.  In Georgia, the teen was found to be living with several adults.

In another instance, a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old were abducted by their mother, who was their non-custodial parent, and taken to Florida.  The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s office issued a felony warrant for her arrest for kidnapping.  Despite her multiple attempts at evasion, the non-custodial parent was tracked to Florida, where she was arrested and the two young children were recovered.

In addition, the task force recovered a 1-year-old baby who was taken by his father, after his father shot and killed the baby’s grandfather.  The father surrendered to the New Orleans Police Department Violent Offenders Warrant Squad, and the baby was recovered safely.

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Furthermore, a 2-year-old male child was recovered after he was abducted from his crib by a family member.  The child was found after the NOPD Special Victim’s Division – Child Abuse Unit and the USMS New Orleans Taskforce conducted searches and interviews in the area.  He was returned safely to his mother.

Also, a 15-year-old schizophrenic patient was recovered after she broke free from restraints in an ambulance en route to Children’s Hospital in New Orleans.  Thanks to a cooperative effort from the New Orleans Police Department Special Victim’s Division – Child Abuse Unit, Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Xavier University Police Department, the patient was located in New Orleans.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Fair praised Operation “Fresh Start,” in his press release, saying:

“I am very proud of the cooperative work done by all the agencies involved in safeguarding at risk children.”

U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Louisiana Scott Illing said in a statement:

“Our Office is proud to be a part of a robust MCU program that took root in New Orleans starting in 2016.”

He continued:

“This work is being done with our partners while our office still performs its critical USMS missions (judicial and witness security, managing federal prisoners, violent fugitives’ apprehension, sex offender investigations, and service of federal process).”

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Got him! Man accused of shooting two Georgia deputies, aiming at a third captured by U.S. Marshals

Originally published January 19, 2022

OCHLOCKNEE, GA – A man wanted for shooting two Georgia deputies is now in custody after he turned himself in to the U.S. Marshals Service.

The suspect, Tyler Henderson has been the subject of a manhunt after he allegedly shot and wounded two Thomas County deputies on January 11th.

Thomas County Sheriff’s Office Captain Steve Jones said that Henderson’s capture is a relief to the community.

He said:

“My phone has been going off nonstop since the news broke of this. The community is relieved. I went to get coffee and people were cheering, they were so happy we had caught this guy.”

Authorities noted that the manhunt ended thanks to the family of Henderson who convinced him to turn himself over to the police. They said:

“Our investigators and US Marshals have been in contact with several family members, which is what broke it. They were able to talk some sense into him and get him to turn himself in.”

Henderson allegedly informed his family members that he was ready to turn himself in on January 16th. Family members notified the task force which moved in and took him into custody without incident.

Henderson turned the deputy’s firearm over to the task force when they took him into custody. He also alleges that he has received no help from anyone while he was on the run.

The manhunt started after three deputies went to Henderson’s residence, who is a convicted felon, to serve an arrest warrant for him over parole violations.

At some point, while the deputies were attempting to take him into custody, Henderson was able to retrieve one of the officer’s firearm and shot two of them before fleeing on foot.

One of the deputies was shot in a bullet-resistant vest while the other took a round underneath the vest.

A third deputy was also injured during the altercation. Thankfully, two of the deputies have already been released from the hospital and the third is scheduled to be released soon.

Captain Jones added he believed these deadly situations in which a deputy is disarmed are rare. He said:

“That situation they were in is one you can go your entire career and never be in a situation like that. It’s very taxing mentally, emotionally. It’s draining physically. I can’t imagine what it was like. We’re offering these guys all the support they need and all the time they need.”

Captain Jones also expressed the Sheriff’s Office appreciation for all of the law enforcement agencies that offered assistance in their time of need. He said:

“A lot of these agencies didn’t call and say, ‘Can we help you?’ They called and said, ‘We’re on the way to help you.’ That means a lot.”

A number of agencies, local, state, and federal, all jumped in immediately to search for Henderson. Thomas County Sheriff’s Office noted they received help from the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Thomasville Police Department, Georgia Bureau of Investigations, Georgia Highway Patrol, and the Tallahassee Police Department.

In addition to the original parole violation, Henderson has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

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Blue Alert: Massive manhunt underway after two deputies shot by a convicted felon

OCHLOCKNEE, GA – Two deputies in south Georgia are recovering after being shot allegedly by a convicted felon on January 11th. The suspect was able to evade capture and is still on the run.

 

Three deputies with the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office responded to the suspect’s residence, identified as Tyler Henderson, to arrest him for a parole violation.

While the deputies were attempting to take Henderson into custody for the warrant, a physical struggle ensued.

At some point during the struggle, police allege that Henderson was able to disarm one of the deputies and fire on them. Two of the deputies were struck, one in his bullet resistant vest and the other underneath the vest.

The third deputy was not shot. Thomas County Sheriff’s Office Captain Tim Watkins said:

“Deputies from the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office went to Ellen Street to try and execute a warrant on a Tyler Henderson. A struggle ensued and during that struggle, Mr. Henderson was able to take the deputies weapon.”

The deputies that were shot and injured were transported to a nearby hospital where they underwent medical treatment for their wounds. Thankfully, they are expected to recover from the injuries.

 

Law enforcement from the U.S. Marshals Service, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, Leon County Sheriff’s Office, the Thomasville Police Department, and the Georgia State Patrol descended on the area in attempts to locate Henderson.

During their search, officers were notified by an alleged family member that he was chased out of a residence in Meigs, Georgia after the shooting.

So far, law enforcement has not been able to take him into custody and are asking the public’s help in locating him. They are currently offering a $5,000 reward for any information that can lead to his arrest. The Thomasville County Sheriff’s Office released the following on Facebook, asking for help and warning the public:

“Henderson is wanted for attempting to murder three of your deputies. Two…were shot, both are stable and are going to be okay. Henderson is a convicted felon and is no stranger to the law…We will find Henderson and bring him to justice.”

WCTV spoke to neighbors in the area, most of whom were upset those deputies were injured in the shooting. One of the residents, Larry Spicer, said:

“Everybody was real upset about it because not too many folks take to kind to him around here no-how.”

 

Police noted that the warrant they were attempting to execute on Henderson was for a parole violation for a new arrest that occurred in December of 2021.

Henderson was on parole for robbery, burglary, and aggravated assault in a previous incident.

The shooting of these two deputies comes after the State of Georgia as seen at least three police officers killed in the line of duty from November of 2021 until January of 2022.

The incident also comes at a time in which a record number of police officers have been shot.

The National Fraternal Order of Police recently reported that there were 346 police officers that were shot in the line of duty throughout 2021, 63 of those who died. The number of officers shot increased from a total of 312 in 2020 and 293 in 2019.

FOP President Patrick Yoes told Fox News:

“The attacks on law enforcement officers during 2021 was a harsh reminder that our law enforcement officers are not just in harm’s way due to the dangerous nature of their profession, but that they are targets of cowardly individuals whose sole motivation is to injure or kill a law enforcement officer.

Despite all of this, the brave men and women of law enforcement will continue to hold the line, stand in between good and evil, and work tirelessly to protect the communities they serve.”

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