Feb 17, 2016 09:01 AM EST
Former Tennessee Football Player Mack Crowder Arrested in Child Sex Sting
A University of Tennessee football player who just finished his senior season was arrested in Florida for soliciting someone he believed to be a female minor for sex.
Mackenzie "Mack" Crowder, a center for the UT Volunteers, was charged with five third-degree felonies Tuesday night after he arranged a meeting with a police officer pretending to be a 14-year-old girl, The Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
Crowder was targeted as part of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office's "Operation Wayfarer," which entailed Special Victims Unit officers pretending to be minors soliciting sex for adult males on various forums from Jan. 20-24. An officer contacted Crowder on Jan. 21 and arranged for a meeting on Tuesday night.
Between the initial contact and the arrest, Crowder sent sexually lewd pictures to the person he thought was a 14-year-old girl, police said in a news release. Additionally, Crowder propositioned the officer for sexual acts on multiple occasions.
"Detectives say that during the interview Crowder admitted to sending the four photos and admitted having knowledge that he was communicating with whom he thought was a 14-year-old girl," read the release. "Crowder was arrested for one-count certain use of computer services prohibited and four-counts of transmission of material harmful to a minor. He was subsequently transported to the Pinellas County Jail without further incident.
"The investigation continues."
Crowder played in 32 games for UT over four seasons and started 15 games, according to his bio page. He earned SEC Academic Honor Roll recognition in 2014 and 2015.
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