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26 arrested in human trafficking ring bust

Police lights. (Dreamstime/TNS)
November 28, 2023

A two-day human trafficking sting operation conducted in the middle of November resulted in the arrest of 26 people in Georgia in connection with a human trafficking ring.

Last week, the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office announced that officers had arrested 26 people in a human trafficking operation on Nov. 15 and 16.

“The Coweta County Sheriff’s Office conducted a Human Trafficking Operation on November 15 and 16, 2023, and requested the HCSO Special Ops Div to assist,” the Haralson County Sheriff’s Office, which helped the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation, stated on X, formerly Twitter. “During the two days, six victims of Human Trafficking were rescued and moved to safety.”

The Haralson County Sheriff’s Office noted that out of the 26 total arrests in the sting operation, 12 individuals were arrested for prostitution, ten were arrested for pandering, and four were arrested for pimping. The sheriff’s office also explained that three of the individuals arrested in the two-day operation are currently being investigated for drug charges and human trafficking.

READ MORE: Pic: Pentagon official arrested in human trafficking ring bust

According to WSB-TV Atlanta, the 26 arrests in the human trafficking sting operation included the arrest of Stephen Hovanic, former chief of staff for the Americas division of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). 64-year-old Hovanic was arrested and charged with pandering.

Stars and Stripes reported that Hovanic has been employed by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) for roughly 30 years and has served as the chief of staff for the department’s Americas region for the past 13 years. The DoDEA is responsible for managing federal schools on various U.S. military bases across the world.

According to FOX 5 Atlanta, the senior Pentagon official was charged with pandering after he allegedly attempted to solicit sex with an undercover agent as part of the sting operation in a motel room.