of sex trafficking and exploitation
OPERATION UNDERGROUND RAILROAD:
Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) is a non-profit dedicated to fighting human trafficking and sexual exploitation with an emphasis on the rescue of children. Its ultimate goal is to end child sex trafficking and exploitation worldwide and to provide the aftercare survivors need to heal.
Tim founded O.U.R. in December 2013 after working for more than 10 years as a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations. As part of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and an undercover agent for the U.S. Child Sex Tourism Jump Team, he was deployed around the world to hunt down U.S. citizens preying on children. Two cases in particular led to the formation of O.U.R. When Tim was in Colombia training Colombian officials in how to detect and arrest traffickers and predators, an opportunity arose to execute a sting operation. However, the U.S. refused to allow this operation to go ahead as it was outside its jurisdiction. Then, in Haiti, a two-year-old boy named Gardy was trafficked from his church where his father was the pastor. Although this little boy was born in the United States, Tim was not allowed to make his trafficking a U.S. case. Tim’s commitment to helping the people of Colombia and Gardy’s family forced him to make the tough decision to walk away from his government job (nine months before his pension vested) to start O.U.R.
After receiving funding and support from friends and professional connections, Tim quickly returned to Colombia to start planning Operation Triple Take with local law enforcement. In three operations across a single day, Tim and his team of undercover operators helped save over 120 children and arrest 20 traffickers.
With the help of Gardy’s father, Guesno, Tim and his ops team followed a lead to an illegal orphanage in Haiti. Posing as buyers, they purchased two children to help Haitian police seize the orphanage and rescue all 28 of the children living there. Although they did not find Gardy, they have never stopped searching and Tim will never give up hope.
O.U.R. quickly began to coordinate operations with local law enforcement agencies around the world. Since the beginning, the O.U.R. Ops Team has consisted of former government special agents, past and current law enforcement, and highly skilled operatives that lead coordinated identification and extraction efforts. As of February 2020, O.U.R. has conducted over 880 rescue operations that have resulted in the rescue of over 3,200 victims and the arrest of over 1,800 traffickers and pedophiles.
O.U.R. is committed to supporting survivors throughout their healing process. A rescue operation will only go ahead after the full vetting of local aftercare centers to ensure survivors have somewhere to go immediately after their rescue. O.U.R. examines and assesses these services and resources wherever this is permitted by local and national governments. The results of our collaboration with local aftercare partners have exceeded our expectations as local workers understand the culture far better than we do. To date, O.U.R. supports 6,000 survivors through partner aftercare centers.
25 U.S. states