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A NASCAR fan plans to plead guilty to flooding Fox Entertainment with more than a half-million e-mails because he was angry that the network aired a Boston Red Sox baseball game instead of an auto race. Michael Melo of Billerica, Mass., faces up to a year in prison for his actions, which forced the network to shut down part of its Web site. He has agreed to plead guilty to a federal misdemeanor charge of damage to a protected computer system, his attorney said Wednesday. Melo designed a program that repeatedly sent the same six e-mails to Fox Entertainment Group Inc. in Los Angeles over a few days in late April and early May 2001. “He was just very upset that the Red Sox would pre-empt NASCAR, so he decided to send these messages to express his views,” said Melo’s lawyer, Andrew Good. Fox received more than 530,000 e-mails from Melo. Fearing a hacker was attacking its system, the company shut down a portion of its Web site, costing Fox $36,000, prosecutors say. The federal complaint did not specify the exact content of the e-mails. Fox Entertainment spokesman Scott Grogin declined to comment. Melo, who has no prior criminal record, will ask for probation, Good said. Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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