Crime
Crime

Former University of Tennessee Football Player Arrested On Charges Of Sending Explicit Photos To Teenage Girl

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Mackenzie “Mack” Crowder played 11 games on the University of Tennessee football field as a guard and center, but he was inside a jail cell in Pinellas County, Florida, on Feb. 16 for allegedly engaging in a sexual conversion with whom he thought was a 14-year-old girl.        

Although the minor Maceknzie allegedly believed he was talking to was an undercover deputy, he is accused of sending four pictures of his genitals to the decoy. Crowder also solicited sex several times and made arrangements to meet her in Pinellas County, where he was arrested, according to a release from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives said Crowder admitted to sending the photos under the pretense that he was speaking to a 14-year-old online. He was arrested on one count of certain use of computer services prohibited and four counts of material harmful to a minor, WFLA reports. He was released on $50,000 bail the morning after his arrest.

Although Crowder currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Associated Press reported via the New York Post that he hails from Bristol, Tennessee. This fall was his final season playing football for the University of Tennessee, but it’s unclear if he has graduated. 

Crowder’s arrest was part of a sting operation called  “Operation Wayfarer,” which targets adult males seeking underage girls onlin for sex. At least 16 men have been arrested as a result the sting operation, but it’s a cooperative effort between the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Investigative Operations Bureau, the Special Victims Unit and the Violent Offender Warrants Unit. The operation ran in January and the suspects range in age between 20 and 47 years old, according to a separate news release. 

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