Tuesday, November 28, 2023 by Ramon Tomey
The head of the Department of Defense‘s (DoD) education division has been arrested, alongside several others, in a human trafficking sting in Georgia.
Stephen Hovanic was among the 26 individuals arrested during a two-day sting organized by the sheriff’s offices of Coweta County and Haralson County, both in the Peach State. The 64-year-old Hovanic, who serves as the DoD’s chief of staff of education activity, was arrested on Nov. 15. He was arrested on suspicion of pandering – convincing another person to enter the sex trade.
A booking photo shared by the Daily Caller matched his official biography in the DoD Education Activity (DoDEA) Americas website. Both images show a distinctive scar across the chin, further confirming his identity. The two-day sting not only resulted in Hovanic’s arrest, but also in the rescue of six human trafficking victims.
Hovanic’s career history includes roles as a high school vocational teacher, coach and school administrator in Virginia. He joined the DoDEA Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools system in 1996 and served in various positions – including as an assistant principal, and later as principal. His tenure as DoD chief of staff of education activity began in 2010, as per his LinkedIn profile.
“The Biden administration has not yet released an official statement regarding Hovanic’s arrest,” YourNews wrote. “This incident has brought to light serious concerns within the DoD’s educational system, spotlighting the need for stringent measures to prevent such illicit activities.”
Hovanic’s arrest came days before a former Democratic mayor in Maryland was sentenced for a far more heinous crime – child pornography.
Patrick Wojahn, former mayor of the city of College Park in Maryland, was slapped with a 150-year jail sentence on Nov. 20. During a press briefing that followed the sentencing hearing, Maryland Assistant State’s Attorney Monica Meyers said investigators found videos and images of child abuse on Wojahn’s mobile phone alone. Of the more than 500 children recorded being abused on the device, 52 of them were identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Wojahn was indicted on “possession, possession with intent to distribute and distribution of material that exploits children – a mixture of misdemeanors and felonies with maximum penalties ranging from five to 10 years’ incarceration.”
Despite the heinous nature of the crime, Prince George’s County Circuit Judge Karen Mason suspended Wojahn’s sentence down to 30 years. She warned, however, that Wojahn could serve the remaining 120-year sentence in prison the moment he violates the conditions of his five-year parole.
Under Maryland law, “nonviolent” are eligible for parole after serving one-fourth of their sentence – which amounts to seven-and-a-half years. However, upon release, Wojahn must still undergo five years of supervised probation and register as a sex offender.
The now-convicted mayor was reportedly mentored by incumbent Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. The two met back in 2015 after Wojahn was elected mayor that year, with the former South Bend, Indiana mayor taking him under his wing. Wojahn stepped down from his position in March after he was arrested and indicted over the charges.
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Watch this short film about human trafficking by independent journalist Liz Crokin.
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