6 children in Ark. custody after raid on compound
Arkansas state police say six children are in temporary custody after a raid on a church compound as part of a child-porn investigation.
State police spokesman Bill Sadler said Sunday that the children will be in the custody of the Department of Human Services as authorities conduct interviews. He isn’t saying how long the interviews might last.
State officers and FBI agents raided the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries compound on Saturday. The ministry is led by convicted tax evader Tony Alamo.
FOUKE, Ark. (AP) _ A 15-acre church compound was quiet Sunday following a raid by federal and state law enforcement officers as part of a child-abuse and pornography investigation. A prosecutor said an arrest warrant was likely.
A man at the gate of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries turned away an Associated Press reporter Sunday morning. He refused to give his name and said no one was available to comment.
Police said the church complex would be allowed to open for Sunday services.
More than 100 state officers and FBI agents hit the compound Saturday in a raid that ministry leader and convicted tax evader Tony Alamo claimed in a telephone interview was part of a federal push to legalize same-sex marriage while outlawing polygamy.
Prosecutors once labeled Alamo as a polygamist who preys on girls and women.
Mayor Terry Purvis said he watched as the investigators left around 12:30 a.m. Sunday. He said authorities did not tell him what they found.
“In an investigation like this, they’re pretty lip-locked,” Purvis said.
U.S. Attorney Bob Balfe said he had no comment Sunday.
• For possible updates see the Tony Alamo News Updates at Religion News Report