‘Operation Volunteer Strong’ recovers 150 missing Tennessee kids

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A months-long operation has recovered 150 missing children in Tennessee, authorities said Wednesday.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said that it launched the effort, known as “Operation Volunteer Strong,” in an attempt to track down 240 missing kids, news station WVLT reported.

With help from the US Marshals and the Department of Children’s Services, officers were able to find 150 of the children, ranging in age from 3 to 17, the outlet reported.

The circumstances surrounding their cases range from runaways to kids who had been at the center of custody disputes, authorities said

They’re currently investigating whether three of the children were sex-trafficking victims.

Authorities are also still working to find the other 90 missing children in the system.

“This work is transformational, we cannot stop. And there is nothing more worthwhile.” Tennessee DCS Commissioner Jennifer Nichols said at a press conference, news station WZTV reported.

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Knoxville) on Wednesday commended the joint-agency effort.

“This operation had miraculous results, and I’m glad these children are reunited with their families. Sadly, this is a reminder there are sick and twisted people out there looking to exploit minors,” Burchett said.

“I know the great folks who made Operation Volunteer Strong a success will continue their important work and help put a stop to this criminal activity.”

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