Lakers forward disgusted after Pentagon official in charge of overseeing elementary schools gets busted in human trafficking sting

David Akerman
3 Min Read
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers forward Taurean Prince shared his reaction on Instagram to some troubling news that came out of Georgia recently.

It was reported that 26 people were arrested as part of a two-day human trafficking operation in Coweta County.

Taurean Prince and Stephen Hovanic

Six human trafficking victims were reportedly rescued during the operation and moved to safety. Stephen Hovanic, an official for the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), was reportedly among the 26 people that were arrested. He was charged with pandering. Some of the others arrested apparently face pimping, pandering, prostitution and drug chargers.

The DoDEA is one of two federally operated school systems and responsible for “planning, directing, coordinating, and managing prekindergarten through 12th grade educational programs on behalf of the Department of Defense (DoD).” It employs around 15,000 employees who serve nearly 70,000 children of active duty military and DoD civilian families.

It also operates 160 accredited schools in eight districts in many countries and multiple states as well as Guam and Puerto Rico. The department’s schools are separated into three geographic areas: Europe, the Americas and the Pacific. Hovanic reportedly serves schools located in the Americas.

The DoDEA released a statement to WSB-TV on Wednesday night regarding the matter.

“We are aware of an alleged incident involving a DoDEA employee in the Americas Region,” the statement read. “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 spokesperson said that Hovanic, who has reportedly since been released from jail, is currently on leave. It’ll be interesting to follow the story as it continues to develop.

Prince, who is in his first season with the Lakers, will undoubtedly be on the lookout for more updates. He’s currently averaging 8.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while knocking down just 39.8 percent of his shots from the field and 27.7 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.

His efficiency is down from last season, but that hasn’t stopped Lakers head coach Darvin Ham from trusting him. Prince has started in all of his 15 appearances this season.

The Lakers are 10-7 after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road last night. Their four-game road trip continues on Monday night with a matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers.

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David is a University of Maryland graduate who has spent most of his life in Miami. He has experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.