Posted in Operations
August 19th, 2014

Operation Mundo Nuevo

26 Children Rescued in the Dominican Republic – 8 Arrested

Boys and Girls ages 12-17

Sometimes you see it in their faces.  Sometimes they give nothing away.  But for one unique soul, an unusual clue saved her from a miserable life of prostitution; she spoke broken Spanish with a Creole accent.

“There was just something about her that didn’t look quite right,” observed Tim Ballard, Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) Founder and CEO.  She was a “working girl” but didn’t look like she belonged there. This immediately put the Jump Team on high alert.

Maria telling her story to Tim Ballard
Maria telling her story to Tim Ballard

O.U.R. was working under “deep cover” to set up the next rescue. One of Ballard’s operatives approached her and hired her for the night to see what they could find out. When they got to the hotel room, he told her they were not going to have sex. Instead, he wanted her to tell him everything she knew.  “She broke down and told her story,” said Ballard.

She was from Haiti (we will call her Maria). She lost both her parents at age 12 during a huge earthquake. A motherly woman found her hungry and alone, having nowhere to go and no one to turn to.  She offered the 12-year-old a home and safety if she would come with her to the Dominican Republic, which she did. But, instead of a safe refuge, she ended up in a nightmare, chained to the wall with other young girls and offered for sex to anyone willing to pay the traffickers who had bought her from the woman.

Eventually this hell-hole in the D.R. was raided by police, but traffickers got the young girl out before the police could get to her. They then took her to another town and set her up in a new prostitution ring.  In fact, she was sold three times between the ages of 12 and 14.

Her childhood was over.  Life as a prostitute became the norm. Today, she is no longer a girl in servitude but knows no other way to survive.  When the O.U.R. Jump Team found her in the D.R., she was on her own, making a living doing the only thing she knew how.  But, with her help, O.U.R . was able to set up a sting just a few days ago and rescue 25 boys and girls ages 12 to 17 being used for prostitution, the majority of which were between the ages of 12 and 14.  Their stories are yet to be told. “ It’s so fresh. Details are still coming in, “ said Ballard.


As for Maria, her life is about to change.  Operation Underground Railroad is sending her out of the country to an organization called “Breaking Chains.” They offer a 90-day program that helps heal both the physical and spiritual soul of an abused person such as Maria. Ballard said, “We’re going to invest in her and help her start running a business. We give micro loans. We’ll find out what she’s good at and then help her get started.  The 90-day program ends with some kind of future where they (rescued adults) can sustain themselves.”

Maria’s story will be featured in an upcoming documentary now in production about Tim Ballard and the Jump Team called The Abolitionists which is being funded by private investors and is planned for a theatrical release early next year. For more information on the documentary, please refer to the article in the O.U.R. Blog entitled The Abolitionists.

Written by Cheryl L. Karr


  • Y. Lopez

    Thank you for the work you do. May God continue to bless and protect you!

    Reply to Y. Lopez
  • Lindy Combs

    After I learned about this sex trafficking in 2008, I was angry at God…we had a conversation (!) and I learned a few things about prayer and the power in the name of Jesus…sooo: With every fiber of my being, I know in my heart that the O.U.R. Team is God’s move in answering my intercession! The angels surround you, Tim Ballard and all the Team. Glory to God!

    Reply to Lindy Combs
  • Richard Ward

    God bless you OUR. It is so heartwarming to see an organization like yours doing something about the evil in our world. May He continue to protect and guide you in your wonderful mission.

    Reply to Richard Ward
  • Dray

    Thank you for the work you all do. These precious lives get a chance because people like you make that possible!

    Reply to Dray
  • tb

    I heard about Tim Ballard and the first rescue he did. It was the audience of Glenn Beck that made that possible. Says whatever you want about Glenn Beck, but nobody has supported,founded so many good causes like him.

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