Conspirator Pleads Guilty to Civil Rights Violation

Used a Noose to Hang a Dead Raccoon on a Family’s Porch

March 5, 2012

Baltimore, Maryland - Joshua Wall, age 20, of Essex, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to his involvement in hanging a raccoon on the porch of an African-American family.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein: Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division; and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Wall pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to deprive a person of civil rights, and admitted that in April 2010, he and four co-conspirators agreed on a plan to hang a dead raccoon from a noose on the porch of an African-American family to frighten the family and to interfere with their housing rights. Wall claimed that two of his co-conspirators drove around until they found a dead raccoon and made the noose to put around the raccoon’s neck. Wall and two of the co-conspirators hung the raccoon on the porch of the home in the middle of the night.

“Acts of hate to intimidate someone because of their race still occur in this day and will not be tolerated by the Justice Department,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will vigorously prosecute anyone that violates our nation’s civil rights laws.”

The investigation is ongoing.

Wall faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy to deprive a person of civil rights. U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander has scheduled sentencing for August 17, 2012.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez commended the FBI for its work in the investigation and thanked U.S. Department of Justice Trial Attorney AeJean Cha of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant United States Attorney P. Michael Cunningham, who are prosecuting the case.

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