The chief of staff for the Defense Department’s bureau was arrested during a large-scale human trafficking sting that rounded up dozens of alleged perpetrators and victims.
Steve Hovanic, the Chief of Staff at the Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA), was arrested along with more than two dozen other perps accused of pandering, prostitution & pimping, and drug possession.
Hovanic, 64, was charged by the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office with pandering during a two-day operation.
The Military Times reported:
Stephen Hovanic, 64, of Sharpsburg, Georgia, was arrested on Nov. 15 in a sting that netted 25 additional suspects on charges related to prostitution as well as drugs, weapons, and warrants, according to the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office and its Police to Citizen Portal website.
NEW: Pentagon official Stephen Francis Hovanic reportedly arrested in a human trafficking sting in Georgia where over 2 dozen people were arrested for pandering, drug possession, prostitution & pimping.— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) November 22, 2023
It gets worse. Hovanic worked for the Department of Defense, specifically… pic.twitter.com/EJvxep2BCj
Fox5atlanta reported: The sheriff’s office also says six women whom they identified as victims of human trafficking were offered help.
Hovanic reportedly told officials that he thought he was purchasing a massage, and not sex, from the woman who turned out to be an undercover officer.
Deputies say the human trafficking investigation continues, and more arrests and charges are possible.
According to the DODEA page, Hovanic has over three decades of public service.
Hovanic began his academic career in 1982 as a high school vocational teacher, coach, and school administrator for Virginia public schools, according to his DODEA biography.
He joined DODEA in 1996 as an assistant principal at Quantico Middle-High School before serving as principal of Dahlgren Unit School.
Sergeant Toby Nix said:
“The victims were taken to an undisclosed ‘safe house,’ where they will receive the help they need to move forward from the heinous crime of human trafficking,” he said
We first reported on the human trafficking sting earlier this month, which saw the multi-state prostitution ring serving elite clients, including elected officials, military officers, and tech executives, which was uncovered by the feds following the two arrests of those suspected of running the operation.
Why does this keep happening! https://t.co/Iw5lbtNxHS— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) November 9, 2023
Federal investigators allege the suspects operated websites that advertised professional photography appointments at luxury apartments.
However, investigators believe the photography sessions were just a front for hiring women for illicit sex services.
Prosecutors say the three accused brothel operators charged clients anywhere from $350 to upwards of $600 per hour depending on the sex services they were selling.
These three defendants allegedly concealed the proceeds of the illicit services using money orders in values under the amount that would typically trigger reporting and identification requirements.