Pentagon Official at Office Overseeing Elementary Schools Arrested in Human Trafficking Sting

By Published on November 24, 2023

Stephen Francis Hovanic, a top administrator for the Pentagon’s school system in the Americas region, was arrested on Nov. 15 in a human trafficking sting in Coweta County, Georgia, the Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

Hovanic, 64, of Sharpsburg, Georgia, was arrested on suspicion of pandering, according to a press release the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office provided to the DCNF. Eva Tedder, administrator for the sheriff’s office, said Hovanic told the jail staff he works for the Department of Defense (DOD) located in Peachtree City, Georgia, where the Department of Defense Education Activity’s (DODEA) Americas division is located, according to the agency’s website.

A booking photo of Hovanic, which the Coweta County sheriff’s office shared with the DCNF, shows a man who closely resembles the man in DODEA Americas Chief of Staff Stephen Hovanic’s biography on the agency’s website. Photos of both men show a distinctive scar across the chin.

The biography also states that Hovanic lives in Sharpsburg, Georgia.

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Hovanic was one of more than two dozen arrests over a two-day operation meant to locate victims of human trafficking, the Newnan Times-Herald reported. Six women, identified as victims of human trafficking, were rescued in the operation, which saw arrests on charges of pandering, drug possession, prostitution and pimping, according to the press release.

“We are aware of an alleged incident involving a DoDEA employee in the Americas Region. As there are ongoing legal processes, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time. Any questions regarding the incident should be directed to the local law enforcement agency involved,” a DODEA spokesperson told the DCNF.

The spokesperson added that Hovanic was currently on leave.

Hovanic did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

 

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comments from a DODEA spokesperson, provided to the DCNF after this story’s publication.

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