Dave Roepke, Published December 23 2009
Fargo man pleads guilty in kidnapping case
Dragan Jovanovic, 42, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree unlawful transaction with a minor, a Class D felony.
Jovanovic and Elvis Tahirovic, 18, of Fargo, faced charges of attempted kidnapping. The charge, a Class B felony, can carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison upon conviction, compared to a maximum sentence of five years for a Class D felony.
Christopher Cohron, the commonwealth’s attorney for the 8th Judicial Circuit in Warren County, Ky., said as part of the plea deal, he will ask the judge for three years of prison at an upcoming sentencing. The defense will argue for probation only, he said.
As a Bosnian who is not a U.S. citizen, Jovanovic will also be subject to deportation because of the felony conviction, Cohron said.
Police in Bowling Green, Ky., accused the two men of coming on Sept. 21 to a middle school there to take a 14-year-old girl who agreed to marry Jovanovic’s 14-year-old son after they met through online social networking.
School officials became suspicious after the men inquired about bus schedules and what time school let out, police said. The two returned to the school later in the day and tried to pick up the girl, unaware that she wasn’t in attendance that day, authorities said.
Officers found the men across the street from the school and arrested them, a police spokesman said.
Cohron said no plea deal has been reached for Tahirovic, who is set to appear in court on Jan. 21.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535