U.S. Marshals recover 5 teens, arrest 30 in New Orleans during monthslong operation

Jan. 2 (UPI) — U.S. Marshals located five missing teenagers and arrested 30 people in the New Orleans metropolitan area during a monthslong multiagency operation, authorities said.

The U.S. Marshals Service New Orleans Task Force announced the results of Operation Boo Dat, an annual law enforcement initiative, that ran from mid-October to Dec. 24, stating that several of the missing teenagers recovered had ties to sex trafficking.

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Authorities said the ages of the teenagers ranged from 14 to 17 and they were recovered in three instances with two of the girls sisters who may be victims of adult felony criminal sexual activities.

Of those arrested, 17 were for committing felony sex offender registration violations, they said.

During the operation, U.S. Marshals arrested Lorenzo Oliver, a Tier 3 sex offender, on Dec. 10 as he was sought by the New Orleans Police Department on charges of first-degree rape of a 12-year-old in an abandoned West Bank residence. He was previously convicted in 2015 of attempted forcible rape and sexual battery.

Law enforcement also arrested Lamonte Versill Morris in Orleans Parish, La. as he was wanted on a San Patricio County, Texas, warrant from June for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

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A press release from Texas’ Aransas Pass Police Department states Morris had gone on the run after authorities began to investigate him, during which they learned he held a private security license and was employed in a job that provided him access to underage children.

He was arrested on Oct. 29.

Law enforcement also arrested David Douglas Smith on Oct. 26 on a failure to register as a sex offender warrant.

Authorities said more than 100 sex offender compliance checks, which involves officers verifying the address of a sex offender, were attempted or made during the operation.

“Often countless hours of follow-up investigative work are required during and after a compliance check,” the U.S. Marshals Service said.

Along with the U.S. Marshals’ New Orleans Task Force, the operation involved the New Orleans Police Department, the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana State Police.

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