Senior Pentagon Official Arrested in Undercover Sting Operation

Senior Pentagon Official Arrested in Undercover Sting Operation

( – Human trafficking remains one of the top priorities for law enforcement officials across the US. There are an estimated 27 million people being trafficked across the world at any given time. Some of those victims are put to work on American streets as sex workers. Authorities in Georgia recently conducted a two-day sting to apprehend suspects soliciting those workers. One of the men arrested in the sting was a high-ranking Pentagon official.


On November 15, deputies with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office arrested 26 people in a two-day human trafficking operation. The charges ranged from pimping and weapons charges to pandering, prostitution, and drug charges. Six women were arrested during the sting, but Sgt. Toby Nix said they were victims of human trafficking. One of the suspects arrested was 64-year-old Stephen Hovanic. He serves as the chief of staff for the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).

Hovanic was charged with misdemeanor pandering. That’s a crime that involves asking someone to take part in prostitution. According to The Daily Beast, authorities released a video allegedly showing Hovanic asking an undercover agent if she would do 30 minutes. She told him that “should be fine,” but she wasn’t going to play with him before he paid her.

The DoDEA official responded by allegedly handing her cash. After that, two police officers appeared and placed him under arrest. He told the cops that he wasn’t doing anything wrong, he was just asking the officer for a massage.

A Long Career Working With Kids

In the days since his arrest, the official’s biography has been removed from the Defense Department’s website. reported Hovanic has served as chief of staff since October 2010. Prior to that, he spent 40 years working in education in the Virginia public school system.

In 1996, Hovanic was hired as an assistant principal at Quantico High School. In 2001, he was named the principal of Dahlgren School, and he remained there until 2008. After that, he transferred to be an instructional systems specialist in Peachtree City, Georgia.

DoDEA spokesman William Griffin issued a statement about the arrest, saying the agency was “aware of an alleged incident involving a DoDEA employee” in Georgia. He said it was “inappropriate to comment further” because of the ongoing legal process and “any questions [about] the incident should be directed to the” Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.

Hovanic is currently on leave from his position at the DoDEA until further notice.

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