Mississippi man who reportedly burned cross in his yard to intimidate Black neighbors indicted in federal court. He could face up to 20 years in jail, if convicted.

Published 3:18 pm Friday, September 23, 2022

A Mississippi man accused of burning a cross in his front yard to intimidate a Black family that lived next door faces up to 20 years in jail after being indicted in federal court.

Alex Cox, 23, of Gulfport has been charged with one count of criminal interference with the right to fair housing and one count of using fire to commit a federal felony.

The federal indictment in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi says that on Dec. 3, 2020, Cox attempted to intimidate and interfere with his Black neighbors because of their race and color by burning a cross in his front yard and that he used threatening and derogatory language toward his neighbors.

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If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison for interfering with the victims’ housing rights and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, for using fire to commit a federal felony. Cox also faces a fine of up to $250,000 with respect to each charge.