WASHINGTON, May 25, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch today honored Detective Jose DelFierro from the Irving Police Department, Texas, during the annual Missing Children's Day ceremony.
Attorney General Lynch presented Detective Jose DelFierro with the Missing Children's Law Enforcement Award, which is given to a law enforcement officer who has made a significant investigative or program contribution to the safety of children.
"The selfless and heroic acts that we recognize today are proof that vigilance and compassion can stand as bulwarks against the dangers faced by our children," said Attorney General Lynch. "I am inspired by the courage of our award recipients and proud to stand with them as we work for a safer and more just future for the young people of America."
Detective DelFierro received the award for his diligent investigative efforts to recover a group of girls, ranging in age from 11 to 14, who ran away from a mental health facility and were subsequently prostituted by several young men. In December 2014, DelFierro was assigned to the case; he located and returned these girls to their families and child protective services, but during his questioning of the girls, they told him about Luis Rivera, 18, and other men, who they said refused to feed them for several days until they submitted to being prostituted. Rivera trafficked the girls out to several men, including a 12-year-old to a 33-year-old for $50. DelFierro worked tirelessly to identify the witnesses and obtain a confession from Rivera, who also identified the 33-year-old man, resulting in both men being charged and convicted under federal charges of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of children.
In addition to DelFierro, the Attorney General recognized the efforts of four other individuals and an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for their extraordinary efforts to protect children. The Attorney General also recognized Michael Wu, a fifth grader from Walnut Elementary School, Walnut, Calif., as the 17th winner of the Annual National Missing Children's Day Art Contest.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.
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SOURCE Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs