Department of Justice

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Federal authorities reviewing noose found in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall


Jay. E. Town, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama said Monday that his office, the FBI and Department of Justice are reviewing the discovery of a noose found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace’s team at Talladega Superspeedway to determine if there are violations of federal law.

“Regardless of whether federal charges can be brought,” Town stated, “this type of action has no place in our society.”

NASCAR President Steve Phelps confirmed in a Monday afternoon teleconference that the FBI was at the track investigating.

Wallace, the only Black driver competing full-time in NASCAR’s top series, stated on social media late Sunday that “this will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in.”

His competitors voiced their support on social media and were joined by athletes from other sports, including LeBron James.

Corey LaJoie stated on social media, in response to a tweet that drivers were organizing a show of support for Wallace, that “pretty much the entire garage” would do so before Monday’s rain-delayed race at Talladega Superspeedway (3 p.m. ET on Fox).

Car owner Richard Petty stated Monday that he was “enraged” someone would place a noose in the garage stall and that “this filthy act serves as a reminder of how far we still have to go to eradicate racial prejudice. … The sick person who perpetrated this act must be found, exposed, and swiftly and immediately expelled from NASCAR.”




Former Truck driver Rick Crawford convicted of attempted enticement of a minor

Photo: Seminole County Sheriffs Office
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A federal jury found former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Rick Crawford guilty of attempted enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

Crawford, 60, faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison. His sentence hearing is scheduled for Nov. 26.

Crawford was arrested March 5 after he was a caught in a FBI undercover child sex sting in Florida. He was indicted March 30.

Court documents state that Crawford answered a Craigslist ad Feb. 10, posted by an undercover officer, offering “taboo” relations.

Crawford had numerous email and text exchanges with the undercover agent, who posed as a father offering his 12-year-old daughter for sexual services.

In an early email exchange, the undercover officer wrote: “FYI 50yo taboo dad(,) w 12yo daughter (,) she’s into guys….i’m not(,) she’s also accepts donations(,) if this isn’t you then to no need to reply.”

Court documents state that Crawford responded: “Lets do it. Let me know where.”

According to court documents, Crawford agreed to pay between $50 – $75 to engage the girl in oral sex and intercourse. Crawford also indicated he wanted the child to be nude or wearing something with “easy access” at the time of their meeting.

The agent met Crawford in a restaurant parking in Lake Mary, Florida, on Feb. 28. After acknowledging to the undercover officer he was there for the arranged meeting with the young girl, Crawford was arrested as he exited his vehicle. He was found to be carrying $80 and a condom in his pants pocket.

During a search of Crawford’s vehicle, agents found two over-the-counter pills labeled “Diamond Male Sexual Performance Enhancement,” several digital video discs containing adult pornography, a device capable of playing DVDs, massage oils, personal lubricating gels, an open box of disposable gloves, a solid phallically shaped adult sex toy and condoms.

The case was brought as part of the Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Crawford spent 17 years in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He made 336 starts and earned five wins, 75 top five and 160 top 10 finishes. He last appeared in a race in fall 2012 at Talladega Superspeedway. He finished as high as second in the points in 2002.

Click here for press release from U.S. Attorney’s Office on Rick Crawford’s conviction