Alamo compound raid UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Alamo compound raid UPDATE

Posted By on Sat, Sep 20, 2008 at 6:30 PM

Breaking news of a federal raid of "evangelist" Tony Alamo's compound at Fouke, related to allegations of sexual abuse of children who live there and child pornography.

Late last year, the Times' John Williams paid a visit to the Fouke compound and reported on a number of the strange currents swirling around the place. He reported in November that a police investigation was underway of allegations of Alamo's interest in polygamy and taste for young girls. Here's a sidebar on his visit to church.

UPDATE: On the jump, the state/federal news release. Also, Alamo gave a lengthy phone interview to CNN Saturday night full of his usual ranting about political enemies. He's quoted here, too.

NEWS RELEASE

ISSUED BY ARKANSAS STATE POLICE

& FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

August 20, 2008

( TEXARKANA ) – Simultaneous federal and state search warrants were executed today at the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries at Fouke ( MillerCounty ) approximately 10 miles south of here.  Entry onto the property occurred without incident late this afternoon and was coordinated by a combined team of Arkansas State Police and Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The search warrants were based on information gathered during the course of an extended and continuing investigation dating back at least two years.  This has been a joint investigation between the Arkansas State Police and the FBI, with the assistance of the Arkansas Department of Human Services and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas.

Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division and investigators assigned to the Crimes Against Children Division are interviewing minor age children who live on the Alamo property.  The state investigation is aimed at allegations that children living at the Alamo facilities may have been sexually and physically abused.

The federal investigation is based on possible violations of the Mann Act (U.S. Code Title 18, Section 2423 – the transportation of minors with intent to engage in criminal activity).

Any persons who are subjects of the investigations, either state or federal, are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

No arrests have been made in connection with the execution of the search warrants, however an active investigation is continuing.

Officials of the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Children and Family Services are working alongside law enforcement investigators who are interviewing children who reside on the premises.

Every minor child residing inside the Alamo residence is being interviewed by law enforcement officers and state human services officials.  If parents of these children can be located elsewhere on the premises, officers will strive to ensure a line of communication is maintained between the children and the parents.  State and federal authorities are committed to reuniting the children who may have parents at the site as quickly as possible.

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