GLENN: Operation Underground Railroad. Tim Ballard is joining us with an update on some kids that have recently been rescued, thanks to you and this audience. Thank you for your support on trying to end slavery and free some children. Hi, Tim, how are you?
TIM: Hi, great. Thanks for having us back.
GLENN: So can you talk about the operation that you just did?
TIM: Yes, we just got back recently. It was amazing. We brought your own chief investigator with us, so he could be eyes on. And I'm lucky to bring Matt Osborne, formally of the CIA and state department, and he led that operation. And some amazing things happened. And I'm going to let Matt tell you what they are.
MATT: Thank you. So, again, thanks to your audience. Unbelievable. The resources we were able to go down to South America, as specific as we'll be now. In the coming days, we can talk a little bit more. There I believe in the small little place near the Amazon, there was a professor, a high school physical education teacher pimping out nine of his students. Both in positive ways. Hey, if you do this, you get good grades, a little bit of money. And in negative ways. If you don't do this. If you don't allow these men to do whatever they want, I will tell your parents, I will do all of these things. So we were so blessed. We went down. We had our aftercare team in place. Minutes before the operation, operation underground railroad sent a prayer request out to all of our supporters, many probably in this audience, and we had a miracle. Not only were all of the girls rescued, ten of them total, two traffickers arrested, including this teacher, Jason will talk a little bit more about it next week. But our aftercare team not only was on the ground, they were able to go in with the South American countries child protective services equivalent. Be there, and minutes after the rescue, they stayed all afternoon, all evening, all night with the girls.
GLENN: That doesn't happen.
MATT: Doesn't happen.
GLENN: The worst thing about your job, besides having to see what you guys see, you never get the satisfaction of seeing the kids rescued, them knowing that you're a good guy. They see you guys being hauled away in handcuffs, and they just think you're a dirt bag.
TIM: And oftentimes they're scoffing. Yeah, you get yours. No, we were here for you.
MATT: Or spit on you as we're on the ground.
TIM: It's tough. It's tough.
GLENN: So this time, they did. I mean, you got to see the joy in many of them. How did you find out about a teacher doing this?
MATT: So we're very fortunate to have great relationships with the federal governments in several countries through the U.S. embassy, through Homeland Security. They, in this case, said we don't have the resources to go to the outer reaches of our country, but we will give you the green light. Your operation underground railroad operatives, go and see what you find. We sent three Americans about a month or two just in this area, they took an Amazon river cruise, they got the word around that they were looking for a certain type of product and one person led to another who led to this teacher. Real miracle that we were able to find it.
GLENN: So this was a fishing trip, really. I mean, you go on -- I mean, I've seen you do this, like, in Bangkok and in Haiti where you go where the sex trafficking is happening. But this, again, you only found that teacher not from a tip but just from a fishing expedition.
MATT: That's correct. To be on a jump team and to go where this need is, and that's how this happened.
TIM: There's places in the world that are so dark, the darkest corners of the planet where kids are being held with zero hope that anyone's going to find them. Their own governments are saying we don't work up there. And they know that. So we become the only hope. Because we will go into the places that even governments won't go or can't go. And to just have that hope out there for those kids who are locked up.
GLENN: Do you have any idea -- did the parents or did the school have any idea any of this stuff was going on?
MATT: The school said they did not. The professor was fired three hours after this news hit. He is no longer -- he's in jail now. They claim that they did not know anything. The parents from what we get, half the parents claim to have no idea and then half the parents now in the interviews, there are a couple of single families, single parent families who said I was afraid something like this would happen. But our -- aftercare team gave them training, anti-trafficking training in the days following this operation that happened about nine days ago or so.
GLENN: So what happened -- I just saw a video this morning, and it happened a while back. I was surprised. Pat and I watched it this morning. Shocked we didn't know about it. A woman, a girl, lives in Ohio. She was I think 17 at the time. She was raped by a guy who -- these two girls met, I'm not sure exactly how it came down. But her friend Periscoped this rape. And instead of putting the phone down to help, she just Periscoped the whole thing and was responding to the comments, and she was, like, getting so many likes, and she was just -- I mean, it was crazy. And you see this now 18-year-old girl on her little girl bed that all of our daughters had growing up, and she's just -- she's vacant. She's just gone. What happens to these girls who were used by a teacher like this? And the parents. Do the parents get help?
MATT: Some of them will have a steep trip back. Remember, I was the bad guy, I was with them for about 30 minutes while the deal was going down. I am very positive that these girls will still be able to come back. They seem very full of life, they seemed a little bit shy, a little bit scared of us, but we talked about their dreams, we talked about what they wanted to do. Talked about wanting to be travel agents, tour guides, public administration. So I have a feeling, especially because we have this great relationship now. Our aftercare with the prosecutor, with their child protective services equivalent. We will be in touch with them in the weeks and months to come making sure that their road is paved.
GLENN: Tim, people are saying why aren't you doing stuff in America? Well, there are things that happen that you can't necessarily talk about because -- I mean, we can't even give you the name of the country on this particular thing. There are things that are happening right around America that you don't necessarily want to talk about.
But beyond that, these -- a lot of these places, especially over in Asia, the guys who are doing this are Americans and one of them was a teacher.
GLENN: That was caught.
TIM: Absolutely. We do work in the United States. We don't talk as much about it, but we do. And even when we don't, we target those Americans. Look, these are the people that live next door to us, but their inhibitions are down when they're traveling for sex in Asia or Latin America. We get them there and when they do, they don't come home. They rot in a foreign prison, and our kids are safe. So working over there is protecting our kids here.
GLENN: Because it gets worse and worse and worse when they go on these sex vacations.
TIM: Oh, yeah.
GLENN: You can't turn it off when you come home. Can you talk about that teacher that was here in America that you guys busted?
TIM: Yeah. I mean, this was a teacher that, you know, was teaching middle schoolkids and taking all of his vacations over in Asia and exploiting kids and people there. And we were able to catch him because he had just an enormous collection of child pornography, including stuff that he had produced. And there he is doing -- living these two lives, and then he's with our kids teaching them French or whatever he's teaching. It's just -- we have to root these guys out.
PAT: Are these guys generally married or single?
TIM: Both. That doesn't seem to deter them, if they're married.
GLENN: We just lost two operatives over in the Middle East that have been working with us to save moms and children from ISIS. Dads usually killed and then mom and the girls are taken and used as sex slaves or worse.
How dangerous is it for you guys to go out? I mean, you're not dealing with ISIS, per se. But how dangerous is this for you guys?
TIM: I think it's -- it's very dangerous. I mean, we're -- because our whole job, we call ourself operation underground railroad because we're trying to get inspiration from what that group did and what they did was filter the darkness. Everything we do whether it's online or physically and the more dangerous part, obviously, is the physical infiltration of these black markets. Matt ask his team, they were infiltrating people who were selling kids. This is -- we're disturbing their economic flow, their reputations.
GLENN: In some countries, that shall remain nameless, you know, the cartels will come after you here.
TIM: Oh, yeah, there's operations that we don't -- that we've been on that we've conducted that have been successful that no one even knows have been done. There's times we won't announce anything and we wish everyone can know what we're doing all the time and we can't because we tap into something like that.
GLENN: If you want to become involved, I urge you to go to OurRescue.org. That's OurRescue.org. Even a $5 monthly pledge goes a long way. You know, we all think that oh, you know, gee, if I were there, I would have stopped slavery. Really? Because slavery is a lot bigger than it was during the slave trade that we all read about in history books. A lot bigger. And are we doing anything? Just like in the olden days, people didn't want to look at it. They didn't want to think about it, they think wanted to put it out of their mind. Become an abolitionist. Join us today. OurRescue.org. Thanks, guys.
TIM: Appreciate it.