How the O.U.R. Operations Team Grew From One Man To A Worldwide Anti-Human Trafficking Unit | OUR Rescue Skip to main content

How the O.U.R. Operations Team Grew From One Man To A Worldwide Anti-Human Trafficking Unit

OUR Rescue
Posted by OUR Rescue
Published on August 17, 2022
8 min read

The darkness of human trafficking is widespread across the globe, requiring the collaboration of law enforcement and anti-trafficking organizations to come together to combat the issue. O.U.R. uses an ethical rescue model of direct intervention to help find evidence to prosecute offenders and rescue survivors. Many investigations, both internationally or domestically, have been greatly assisted by the O.U.R. Ops Team, which works to bring survivors to freedom every single day. 

O.U.R. Work in the U.S. 

The way that O.U.R. supports domestic law enforcement differs from the way we support law enforcement internationally. In the United States, our team develops relationships with law enforcement agencies and strives to empower them with resources to assist in the fight against human trafficking and child exploitation. Of all the various resources we provide, some of them include forensic equipment, electronic detection K9s, and support vehicles. Domestically, O.U.R. Operators do not directly participate in investigations or on the ground operations. 

O.U.R. International Operations

O.U.R. Operators are on the ground doing active investigations in countries across the globe. The Ops Team consists of highly experienced and extensively trained former law enforcement personnel, intelligence experts, U.S. diplomats, and military officers. The O.U.R. Ops Team directly responds to foreign government requests to assist on operations and investigations by helping develop intelligence and rescue efforts. They also assist foreign authorities by gathering information and penetrating criminal human trafficking networks under appropriate laws and methods of operation. Through extensive undercover work and intelligence gathering, they strive to identify as many victims of human trafficking as possible, all while working closely with O.U.R. Aftercare to anticipate survivor needs.

O.U.R. Operators are on the ground doing active investigations in countries across the globe.

As many of our operators have decades of experience in high-risk enforcement and tactical operations, they routinely assist our foreign host governments with the planning and execution of operations and rescue efforts. The team also assists in criminal proceedings as necessary and appropriate. Our Operators spend weeks, months, or even years gathering evidence and working undercover for operations. O.U.R. Operators never go into a rescue operation without sufficient resources and information, and only intervene when they are confident about the individuals involved. The main mission is to always separate survivors from abusers, and to subsequently get survivors the aftercare they need as quickly as possible.

From the organization’s start in 2014 to now, O.U.R. has supported hundreds of investigations and has rescued thousands of survivors, all thanks to the combined efforts of the teams. The O.U.R. Ops Team currently oversees government relationships, investigative efforts, and rescue efforts in these regions: Asia, Middle East/Africa, Europe, Latin America, and Mexico/Caribbean. 

The O.U.R. Regional Operations Directors

O.U.R. Regional Operations Directors are critical to the success of our operations. Here is a look at our various directors and the regions in which they assist: 

Carlos Maza, Regional Operations Director, Latin America 

Carlos has a rich work portfolio in international law enforcement and a broad scope of criminal investigations focused on transnational criminal organizations. He enjoyed a 35-year career in law enforcement that commenced as a uniformed police officer with the New Orleans Police Department, followed by a career with the U.S. Customs Service Office of Investigations in Miami, Florida. He retired as the Deputy Assistant Director for International Operations at Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and his post retirement career includes assignments for the U.S. Treasury Department.

Carlos served in multiple international assignments in Latin America and Central Asia. In his role as the Attaché in Afghanistan he led a team of investigators and developed strategic approaches to mitigating vulnerabilities from transnational crime, terrorism financing, the threat from the Taliban, and creating and training a self-sustainable vetted unit of the Afghan National Police focused on border enforcement and AML/CFT.

Carlos served on the National Security Council (NSC) as a representative of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on developing strategic approaches to countering the Mexican Cartels and other Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) through efforts to identify, disrupt and ultimately dismantle their financial streams. 

“Francisco Vega”, Regional Operations Director, Mexico/Caribbean 

Francisco Vega served as a U.S. Navy SEAL for over 20 years, where he executed recurrent and emergent special operations missions in the guerrilla infested jungles of Central and South America. He spent the next 14 years of his senior leadership experience as a ground force commander conducting Special Operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and various other locations in the Middle East and Africa. He has led SEALs in thousands of combat operations, to include Direct Action capture/kill missions, clandestine operations and Special Reconnaissance missions in both, declared and undeclared theaters of war.

Francisco held multiple leadership positions in complex and diverse organizations, and has become a subject matter expert in elite team development, effective leadership strategies, and developing mental toughness in high stress environments.

Dean Morgan, Regional Operations Director, Africa/Middle East 

Dean has over 30 years of experience working in a wide range of defense and corporate security roles throughout the world. He served in the Australian army as a soldier and commissioned officer, as an operations director with the Australian Federal Police Protective Service, and as a consultant and advisor to world-leading organizations.   

Outside of his home in Australia, he has lived in Papua New Guinea, Southern Philippines, China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Austria. His work has taken him to countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas where he has helped organizations prepare for and respond to a wide variety of challenging, security-related risks. He has provided executive protection for CEOs of some of the largest companies in the world, been retained as a crisis response consultant for kidnap for ransom cases and as the most senior security executive for a number of multinationals, created and led the delivery of their international, strategic security and crisis management plans.

Dodd DuPree, Regional Operations Director, Europe 

Prior to joining O.U.R. in August of 2021, Dodd DuPree enjoyed a distinguished thirty-two-year career in federal law enforcement, and also served in the United States Coast Guard, United States Customs Service, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Dodd spent more than twenty years as a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), seventeen of which were spent working in the highly specialized International Operations division (HSI-IO) where he served two tours abroad. In addition to directly coordinating countless sensitive international operations abroad in support of HSI’s vast investigative portfolio, Dodd held key leadership positions at HSI headquarters in Washington, DC, to include Chief of Staff for HSI-IO and Operations Chief for Central and South America/Caribbean. Because of Dodd’s extensive law enforcement experience, a vast international network of foreign law enforcement/intelligence partners, and passion for rescuing human trafficking victims, he was assigned to O.U.R.’s International Operations Division. 

“Sean”, Regional Operations Director, Southeast Asia

“Sean” has been an Operator for O.U.R. since October 2015. With a strong background in private investigation and security contracting, he has been doing this work for roughly 15 years. He resides in Asia where he works everyday to assist in a diverse approach at aggressively combatting the victimization of children in that region. He is an expert in forensic cyber casework and uses this skill to enhance child-saving capabilities given the large amount of child sex trafficking that is happening online. Sean’s superior once asked him what motivates him to keep doing this extreme, emotionally taxing work. His response was simple yet profound, “I do it for the children. They need someone to care in a world where little hope exists for them.” He finished with saying, “I honestly could never do anything else now that I have seen what these children go through.”

Alex Rogan, Regional Operations Director, Southeast Asia

Alex Rogan is an online investigator and digital forensic specialist with Operation Underground Railroad and a former U.S. police officer. Alex’s law enforcement career spans over 20+ years and he has worked full time internet related crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children and human trafficking for over 10 years. Alex spends the majority of his time online in an undercover capacity locating and identifying suspects who are distributing illegal imagery of children as well as persons actively seeking out child victims.

Alex was an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) affiliate member and is trained and licensed on multiple law enforcement programs and tools. During his law enforcement career, Alex was instrumental in numerous child victim rescues across the United States and abroad. Alex currently lives in Southeast Asia and works closely with law enforcement agencies  across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, supporting and assisting in their efforts to put an end to human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children.

Bringing Freedom to All

The widespread efforts and continued work of the O.U.R. Ops Team is a testament to how deeply every single one of the team members believes in putting an end to human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. None of our operations would be successful without the collaboration with local authorities, law enforcement, aftercare teams, regional directors, government officials and anti-trafficking organizations. It is the hearts and minds of our Ops Team and Regional Operations Directors that continue to bring survivors to freedom and pave the way forward for a path of healing for so many.