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Media coverage about Operation Underground Railroad

CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING RESCUE GROUP COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL OPERATION IN HAITI, SAVING 29 GIRLS

CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING RESCUE GROUP COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL OPERATION IN HAITI, SAVING 29 GIRLS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FEBRUARY 21, 2017 

* * MEDIA ADVISORY * *

CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING RESCUE GROUP COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL OPERATION IN HAITI, SAVING 29 GIRLS

Operation Underground Railroad partnered with Haiti’s Minor Protection Brigade in undercover sting, arresting 9 traffickers 

WASHINGTON, D.C.–  Today, Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) announced that the group, partnering with Haiti’s Minor Protection Brigade (BPM) and Haitian authorities, has successfully completed Operation Sainte Jou (Holy Day), an undercover rescue mission that resulted in the arrest of 9 traffickers and rescue of 29 girls suspected to be sex trafficking victims. O.U.R. went to Haiti at the invitation of BPM and acted under legal authority of the Haitian government. O.U.R. spent two months, alongside Haitian officials, developing this investigation, meeting with the traffickers,  and setting up the operation to ensure the safety of the victims and jump team. 

“This counts as one of our most successful operations to date. More than two dozen girls are now liberated, and with our continued support, do not have to return to a life where they are victims of the most depraved and evil in society. We hope to continue partnering with Haitian authorities to share and learn new investigation techniques and technology to ensure that pedophiles who prey upon the young have no place visiting Haiti. We are impressed with the Haitian government’s desire to do the right thing. O.U.R. remains committed to doing all it can to empower law enforcement in the U.S. and around the world to fight horrendous crimes of child exploitation and trafficking, ”said Founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad Tim Ballard.  

O.U.R. has built a rehabilitation groundwork with the government and local partners to ensure victims can return to their parents where possible or into vetted safe houses where not. The local aftercare experts met with the girls directly after the operation and were able to meet with many of their parents to provide them with anti-human trafficking awareness and sensitivity training. O.U.R.’s work continues around the world. Since it was founded in 2013, Operation Underground Railroad has rescued 641 victims and arrested 273 traffickers. 

About Operation Underground Railroad: O.U.R. is a non-profit organization that rescues children from slavery. O.U.R. rescue teams are comprised of highly skilled ex-Navy SEALs, Special Forces, CIA and other operatives. O.U.R.’s work has gained international media coverage  on CBS Evening NewsABC Nightly News,  Fox News Sunday, PBS Religion and EthicsThe Washington PostThe New York Postand The Blaze among others. 

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This man helped free 29 women and children from sex trafficking

This man helped free 29 women and children from sex trafficking

 

Ex-CIA analyst Tim Ballard is now a sex-trade investigator — and he just cracked a major ring in Haiti that liberated 29 young women and children.  170220-tim-ballard-feature

It was all in a day’s work for Ballard, who teams with a nonprofit called Operation Underground Railroad, made up of former members of the US military who use their know-how to battle child-trafficking and sex slavery in countries where the practices are common.

The Haiti operation, called Sainte Jou — Creole for Blessed Day — led to the arrest of nine suspected sex traffickers on Feb. 5, Super Bowl Sunday, by local authorities, who worked in tandem with the US organization.

“We are not a rogue agency, we are not vigilantes,” said Matt Osborn, a CIA and State Department veteran, who helps Ballard direct the group’s operations.

They target locales notorious for sex trafficking and then set up complex sting operations to nab the pimps and free the young women and girls.

In Haiti, a sting was set up at the Kaliko Beach Club, a high-end resort on the west side of the island of Hispaniola, which is shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

On Feb. 3 and 4 — as Americans were preparing their Super Bowl parties — Osborn said a team of 25 men began flying in to “play the role of middlemen for wealthy American pedophiles.” They organized with the pimps to line up local girls — some as young as 13 — for an orgy.

“The average price we were going to have to pay was $300 for each girl, for what was billed as a sex party of four to six hours,” Osborn said.

By Sunday, a yacht moored off-shore was made to look like a wealthy party boat down from Florida for the weekend.

Most of the undercovers were wearing flip-flops and shorts and playing ball on the beach to give off a party vibe.

Ballard, who worked for the Department of Homeland Security as a special agent, met face-to-face with the pimps and recorded the details of the deal to hand over to Haitian authorities, who swooped in to break up the sex ring.

The US State Department said Haiti only passed legislation criminalizing sex trafficking in 2014.


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Human Trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise.  It is a $32 BILLION industry.
It needs to stop and together we can make that happen!

Good News Florida: Operation Underground Railroad Rescues Children

Good News Florida: Operation Underground Railroad Rescues Children

Thank you Good News Florida and Tami Gomez for helping us shine a light on the dark world of Human Trafficking. Article below:

Human trafficking is a horrible evil present in our world today. Worse than simple trafficking, however, is child sex trafficking; a booming criminal industry that specializes in providing depraved individuals with children to satiate their perverted desires. These children are often sold multiple times per day to such individuals to be used, humiliated and abused, and passed along. These children are human beings made in the image of God, who are being treated so horribly. Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) has dedicated itself to freeing children from these appalling situations and getting them safely back to their families or to new families.

OUR, based out of California, is a non-profit organization that rescues victims of exploitation and human trafficking around the world. According to Osborne they have operated in fifteen countries worldwide including Colombia, Haiti, India, Thailand and others. While their focus is on children, OUR saves people of all ages. Over the course of three years, they have rescued about 600 individuals from some of the darkest possible situations.

OUR works in various ways to bring sex traffickers to justice and free their prey. They always work with local authorities to capture and bring offenders to justice. Matt Osborne, senior vice president for Rescue and Rehabilitation, said that OUR serves as a “force multiplier” as they help fill financial, training, technology and personnel gaps in the countries in which they operate. In some cases, that means helping train officials to be able to handle trafficking situations more effectively for themselves.

Rescue

In other cases, OUR brings in their own personnel to handle a situation. Their fully trained operatives, called the Jump Team, will pose as American child sex tourists to be able to capture the criminals who exploit children. Once money changes hands, local authorities come in SWAT-style, arrest the perpetrators and take them to be tried in a court of law. Due to the dangerous nature of these operations, many Jump Team members will pray before, during and after operations for safety and a successful mission.

When asked if his job is hard and if all the danger is worthwhile, Osborne responded, “It is difficult to have to play the role of the American child sex tourist and have the girls look at you as if you were really a disgusting predator who was going to do wicked things to them.  However, it is all worth it in the end when you have the chance to help pull someone out of the hell in which they are being forced to live.”

Rehabilitation

Once children have been pulled out of this torturous life they were forced to lead, they are rehabilitated with their families or with new families who will take them in and care for them. This is where Jessica Mass, director of Aftercare, comes in. Mass stressed the fact that they vet homes thoroughly before placing a child in one and, once placed, stay connected and help provide therapy, vocational training, funds for college and help meet other needs. Mass said, “We believe in helping restore lives and empowering voices of our little ones to a life of freedom, full of love and vision for their future.”

Working in this field exposes one to some of the greatest evils that happen on planet earth and can bring doubts and pain to rescuers and caregivers. But, according to Mass, it’s all worth it in the end: “I see the journey of healing and lives restored to the purpose God has for them. There is always hope! I believe there’s hope for everyone through the power of the gospel.” She firmly believes that, despite the evils plaguing the world, God has placed OUR in it to make a difference and to help rescue and restore his children.

OUR makes it easy to make a difference in the world. Becoming an Abolitionist is the easiest way for anyone to get involved. By donating at least $5 per month, you can become an Abolitionist and know that your money is going towards freeing children from this sickening exploitation physically and giving them the opportunity to become free spiritually. You can also sign up for updates from OUR to be informed about when they have made a rescue and to better know how to pray for them. OUR will assist anyone who is interested in doing awareness campaigns for human trafficking. Companies can sponsor vocational training programs through OUR, as well. If you purchase anything from their website, www.ourrescue.com, one hundred percent of the proceeds will go right back to furthering their efforts to rescue children. For those unsure of how to help, visit their website, get informed and “spend time asking God what you can do to protect and love His children,” said Mass.

A native-born Miamian, Tami Gomez is a freelance writer for the Good News while she and her husband attend Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in North Carolina. They hope to become missionaries to the Far East.

Operation Underground Railroad Rescues Children

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Tony Robbins: When a Dream Bucket List Leads to Change

Tony Robbins: When a Dream Bucket List Leads to Change

We are so incredibly grateful for Tony Robbins, his outstanding team and his generous supporters. They have been able to help us save dozens of children from slavery so far.

Watch the video below to find out how Tony came to find out about Operation Underground Railroad & you will be amazed what happens next.

The next time you think, “I’m just 1 person, I can’t possibly make a difference.” Think again!

Jon Lines: The Perfect Fit

Jon Lines: The Perfect Fit

By: Lorayne Mitchell

You know that feeling that comes when your eyes catch a glimpse of that elusive puzzle piece? It is the one with the muted hues and no bright colors to place it easily among the others. As we identify it and ultimately locate its perfect spot, we feel a keen sense of not only accomplishment, but also a satisfaction that comes with completing the perfect fit!

That is exactly the feeling that the directors at O.U.R. (and specifically the founder and CEO Tim Ballard) are experiencing. In the ever-changing landscape of an expanding company, new placements are constantly needed. Let me introduce you to the “perfect fit” as the Executive Vice President of Operations – Jon Lines.

Don’t assume this is just an ordinary placement, for it is anything but that. Allow me to share with you the details of Jon’s career summary, his relationship with Tim, and his plans for the future operations of O.U.R. After graduation with honors from Arizona State University in 1992 and a degree in Justice Studies, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service sidetracked Jon from his plans to attend law school.

Major highlights from Jon’s career include:

  • 1992 – Assigned to the Phoenix, Arizona INS office, working in state and nationwide fraud investigations in the naturalization process of aliens
  • 1997 – Recruited to join the Inspector General’s office, spearheading large scale investigation that eventually led to reforming the nation’s naturalization process.
  • 2002 – Was hired for a supervisory position in Ogden, Utah
  • 2003 – Department of Homeland Security was created. This necessitated the merger of INS and US Customs. Appointed as the interim leader of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Investigations for the state of Utah.
  • 2007 – Selected as the Assistant Special Agent in charge of the 4 HSI offices in Utah. Accepted into the Naval Post Graduates School’s Master Degree Program, where he eventually earned his degree in Homeland Security and Defense.

In 2012, an enthusiastic experienced special agent, Tim Ballard, called Jon with a plea and a strong desire to transfer to Utah and work with Jon there. Tim carried with him a special set of skills from his work with child exploitations. Jon held Tim in high regard after watching him in action. Jon remembers vividly, “Tim was a real credit to our office. He had more vision than most other agents I had previously worked with. We began to discuss new and innovative ways to deal with sex trafficking issues both domestically and internationally.”

In 2013 Tim couldn’t shake nagging feelings that he needed to do more to save the children. Jon proved to be a patient sounding board to him. When most others told Tim he was making the wrong decision to walk away from his government job and pension, Jon was one of the few that discussed Tim’s options with him at length, and eventually encouraged him to follow his dream. While Tim was getting O.U.R. off the ground, he kept a watchful eye on Jon’s great success in the Utah offices of Homeland Security. He called Jon several months ago and asked if he would consider coming to work with him at O.U.R. Tim stated, “Bring everything you offered at the DHS office. Come and join our team at O.U.R. I’ve admired your leadership skills, vision, and above all your uncompromising investigational and operative expertise. I need you to apply your unbending expectations of accountability, credibility, and efficiency within our operations. I need your help to ensure that all incoming donations are well spent to save lives and rehabilitate the children exploited around the world.”

Jon shared with me his view on this new assignment, “Tim was a line agent when we worked together before; I was the agent in charge. Now the tables have turned. It’s not about who’s superior here. I would like to continue to build upon the absolutely incredible team that Tim has built. Tim and I respect each other, share the common mission of saving children, and the vision of what can be done with aftercare.” Jon will be on the ground and involved with the missions as much as he possibly can. He will provide leadership to the teams, facilitating their successes from an administrative perspective. Thailand has opened up as very fertile ground for future missions, and it is one of Jon’s main focuses as he begins his assignment with O.U.R.

Jon also realizes the great blessing his family has been, and will always be to him, by sustaining and supporting him with his career, his vision, and his current decision to stand with Tim and work with the team of O.U.R. His wife Kimberly has been by his side for 31 years. He has boys for bookends – Brye is his oldest son, Dutcher the youngest of the group. Daughters Micah and Haley are sandwiched in between. His children have blessed him with 5 beautiful grandchildren: sweet granddaughters Jonnie, Josie and Haddie, and grandsons Knox and Brigg.

Jon closed our interview by sharing with me one of his favorite quotes. Edmund Burke, an Anglo-Irish statesman, penned the following: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

What a perfect mantra for a man that refuses to stand by and watch children be lost, when he has the skills and expertise to make a difference. We will watch with great interest the great blessing he will be to the team of O.U.R. Is there any doubt now that Jon Lines is the PERFECT fit?

Operation Homeschooled- 10 Arrested in Mesa, Arizona

Operation Homeschooled- 10 Arrested in Mesa, Arizona

Child Prostitution Arrests

Mesa Police Department
Media Relations Office
For Release: December 12, 2016

Mesa Police Detectives completed another operation targeting sexual predators trying to engage in sex acts with underage juveniles. Operation Home Schooled utilized undercover detectives posing as 13 and 14-year-old juveniles, and traffickers, chatting on commonly used internet sites where suspects seek out illegal sex acts. The suspects solicited and/or brokered deals for various sex acts with the minor and were arrested when they responded to the location where they were supposed to meet the minor for sex.

Each year the Mesa Police Department conducts operations of this type in a continuous effort to remove these predators from our community. Suspects willing to solicit sex acts with children are some of the most dangerous criminals in our society. The suspects in the latest operation ranged in age from 66 to 23 years old.

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This operation was a collaborative effort between the Mesa Police Department and Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.). We also want to recognize the Hickey Family Foundation, AZ Men, and our local business partners; Empire Southwest and the Treehouse Group, for their invaluable support of this initiative. For more information about human exploitation and trafficking, please visit http://mesaaz.gov/residents/police/departments-divisions/mesa-family-advocacycenter/heat

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Board of Governors: Alberto Puertas

Board of Governors: Alberto Puertas

O.U.R. recently added Mr. Alberto Puertas to their Board of Governors.

Alberto Puertas is a career/academic counselor for the University Advisement Center at Brigham Young University. His responsibilities include: serving as the International Advisement Specialist at BYU; teaching courses in career strategies, career exploration, and effective learning; mentoring students at risk, and assisting the University in promoting career development issues and objectives.

Alberto has a Master of Science in Counseling and Guidance from BYU. He has mentored many college students doing humanitarian work and internships abroad. He has presented workshops and seminars in the United States, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Bolivia and Peru. In his presentations and daily work, Alberto Puertas emphasizes the relationship between meaning, spirituality and career development. He also stresses the benefits and challenges globalization presents to vocational guidance in the international arena to this new millennium.

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O.U.R. PARTNERS WITH AGAPE INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS TO SAVE CHILDREN FROM TRAFFICKING IN CAMBODIA

O.U.R. PARTNERS WITH AGAPE INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS TO SAVE CHILDREN FROM TRAFFICKING IN CAMBODIA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NOV 21, 2016 

* * MEDIA ADVISORY * *
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O.U.R. PARTNERS WITH AGAPE INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS TO SAVE CHILDREN FROM TRAFFICKING IN CAMBODIA

 Operation Underground Railroad is partnering with International NGO Agape International Missions to rescue more children from sex trafficking in Cambodia

CAMBODIA– Today Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) announced their partnership with International NGO Agape International Missions (AIM), a humanitarian organization focused on ending child sex slavery in Cambodia since 2005. AIM’s goal is to defeat the evil of sex trafficking. Their programs are stopping the cycle of exploitation by preventing trafficking, and rescuing, restoring and reintegrating survivors. 

“O.U.R. is incredibly excited to partner with A.I.M., to share and learn new online investigation techniques and technology, and to help local police forces and governments catch such pedophiles that prey upon the young in Cambodia. With the spirit of the mission in mind, we believe that by combining forces we can help save more and more children from child sex slavery, ” said Founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad Tim Ballard.  

O.U.R. and AIM have partnered on missions in Cambodia in the past, and share a similar faith based approach to their work. O.U.R. looks forward to continued work with AIM as they rescue children from slavery and rebuild their lives and communities by working with local authorities.

“The opportunities to share skills, experiences, and technologies, which come from the O.U.R.-AIM partnership, will result in an exponential impact on child sex trafficking in Cambodia. Bottom-line, more children will be rescued, more traffickers imprisoned, and fewer children will experience the trauma of sexual exploitation,” said AIM’s CEO & Co-Founder of Anti Trafficking Initiatives Don Brewster

About Operation Underground Railroad: O.U.R is a non-profit organization that rescues children from slavery. O.U.R rescue teams are comprised of highly skilled ex-Navy SEALs, Special Forces, CIA and other operatives. O.U.R’s work has gained international media coverage  on CBS Evening NewsFox News Sunday, and The Blaze among others. 

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For more information or to schedule an interview with Tim Ballard, please contact Brielle at brielle@javelindc.com or 201-693-5378.

Dr. Jorge Luis Romero joins the Board of Governors

Dr. Jorge Luis Romero joins the Board of Governors

Last week, Operation Underground Railroad added a new member to their Board of Governors, Dr. Jorge Luis Romero Castro. Dr. Romero is a member of the Andean Parliament and is currently the Vice-Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights and Social Affairs for the Andean Region. He heard about O.U.R. through current board member, Alberto Puertas and quickly flew to the United States to meet the O.U.R. team. Dr. Romero intends to open more doors for Operation Underground Railroad throughout the Andean Countries (Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador) as an active board member. Given his impressive background, endless recognitions and key connections, O.U.R. is honored to have Dr. Romero  join their team in this fight.

Some of Dr. Romero’s accomplishments include:

*He was recognized with the Degree of DOCTOR HONORIS CAUSA by the GRENDAL UNIVERSITY OF U.S.A. for his unstoppable career of 15 years in the service of Personal Development in 9 Countries.

*He was recognized with the Global Leadership Award by Midwest University St. Louis Missouri  for his trajectory in the field of World Leadership.

*He was recognized as the most influential Coach in Peru by the magazine Etiqueta Negra for his successful and successful presence in various business, social and political segments, in wealth-generating companies and for having led to several candidates for Political Power.

*He was recognized as one of the 5 Coaches and lecturers of the most sought after Personnel in Latin America, by the prestigious Journal GESTIÓN.

*He was awarded in the Congress of the Republic as the most influential Coach in Peru. 

Follow Dr. Romero on Facebook HERE

Watch a Facebook Live video of Jorge, Alberto and Tim HERE