Former Tennessee football player Mack Crowder arrested in child sex sting in Florida – Knoxville News Sentinel
11 months ago Comments Off on Former Tennessee football player Mack Crowder arrested in child sex sting in Florida – Knoxville News Sentinel
Former Tennessee offensive lineman Mack Crowder was arrested in a child sex sting operation Tuesday night in Florida, where he was working out in hopes of reaching the NFL.
Crowder was booked on five third-degree felony charges — four counts of sending material harmful to a minor and one count of using a computer for a prohibited purpose.
Crowder’s last game for Tennessee was the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 in Tampa, Fla. Tennessee spokesman Ryan Robinson said Wednesday that Crowder was working out in Tampa.
In a release on the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office website, detectives said that Crowder was arrested “after he sought out and engaged in an online sexual conversation with whom he thought was a 14-year-old female.”
The release says the arrest was made through the office’s “Operation Wayfarer” which targets adult males seeking underage females online for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity. According to a previous release, Operation Wayfarer was initially a five-day operation run from Jan. 20-24 in which investigators went into various online classified pages, social media sites and chatrooms and posed as minors.
Detectives allege that Crowder began conversations with a person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl on Jan. 21, and through the course of various conversations sent four photographs of his “sexual organ.” Police allege that on several occasions Crowder “enticed or solicited the minor to engage in sexual acts with him.”
Police allege that Crowder made arrangements to meet the minor “at an undisclosed Pinellas location” on Tuesday, at which point he was arrested. Police alleged that Crowder admitted in an interview to sending the photos and to believing he was communicating with a 14-year-old.
Jailing information on the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office website says that Crowder, 23, was booked at 8:58 p.m. on Tuesday and that he was released on $50,000 bond. No hearing information is listed for Crowder.
Pinellas County includes St. Petersburg and Clearwater.
Crowder, a Bristol native and former Tennessee High School star, played five seasons at Tennessee. He started 11 games at center in 2014 and started three games at center and guard in 2015. He made the SEC Academic Honor Roll each of the last two years. He earned his bachelors degree in the summer of 2015 according to Robinson.