MINNEAPOLIS (Press Release) — Following the overwhelming media and public response to a public-outreach campaign, special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Monday positively identified and located the individual pictured in last week's ICE news release. Information leading to identifying the individual was provided by a private citizen to the HSI tip line.
The June 25 operation to identify and locate the individual was accomplished by HSI special agents in St. Paul, Minn., Milwaukee, Wis., and Washington D.C. — in cooperation with investigators from the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI).
With help from both the media and the public, HSI and Wisconsin DCI special agents not only identified the person in the photos, but they also identified and rescued a child victim. Due to the ages of the individuals involved and the sensitive nature of this on-going investigation, no further information can be released at this time. However, state-level charges are anticipated in this matter.
"Homeland Security Investigations takes very seriously our responsibility of protecting the public from threats, and especially threats against children," said HSI Special Agent in Charge Michael Feinberg of HSI St. Paul. "In this unusual case, we successfully partnered with the media and public to rescue a child."
"The success of this investigation is another example of the important role all citizens play in protecting our children," said Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. "Their protection is among the highest of priorities for law enforcement. I am grateful to ICE for their continued cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Justice."
HSI is grateful to members of the media, and especially to Minnesota and western Wisconsin media, which aggressively assisted in publicizing the limited specifics that could be shared to help rescue at least one child victim. We are also thankful to members of the public who provided numerous tips, and were responsible for making this a successful operation.
Western Wisconsin (WQOW) - Tips are coming in from western Wisconsin, but so far, federal investigators have been unable to identify a teenager they feel could be in danger.
Earlier this week, Homeland Security Investigations released pictures of a teen wearing a Minnesota Twins t-shirt. HSI, which investigates cybercrime, says it doesn't know who the teen is, but knows enough about him to say that if he can be identified, multiple young people could be removed from a dangerous environment.
Investigators believe he's anywhere from 13 to 19 years old and is in Minnesota or western Wisconsin, or has been recently. They say they've had several leads since they went public with this on Tuesday and some have come from western Wisconsin. Call 866-347-2423 if you can help.
Western Wisconsin (WQOW) - Homeland Security does not know his name, but hopes you recognize his picture because it believes he could be in danger.
On Tuesday, Homeland Security Investigations released pictures of a person who agents believe could be living in Minnesota or western Wisconsin. They're concerned about his welfare. They don't know who he is or how old he is but a spokesperson says they know enough about him that they believe multiple young people could be removed from a dangerous environment if he can be identified. HSI, which is known for investigating cybercrime for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), did not elaborate on that statement, but the spokesperson did tell WQOW News 18 that they know an adult is involved in the case and there is an online video that's also part of the investigation.
Call 866-347-2423 if you can help. All tips will remain anonymous.
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