Police raids on cult lead to weaponry charges

A man arrested after raids on Agape Ministries properties has gone on trial accused of possessing more than 22,000 rounds of ammunition.

Kevin Andrew Moore, 51, has pleaded not guilty to seven weapon and ammunition related charges, Adelaide Now reports:

Opening the trial, prosecutor Fred Keal said police had seized 22,658 rounds of ammunition – weighing 780kg – from Moore’s home in May last year. […]

Senior Constable Keal said Moore also stored firearms and ammunition improperly.

“A handgun, a 9mm pistol, was not secure. It was found to be in a storage case in a wardrobe in the accused’s bedroom,” he said.

“When first questioned the accused said he kept the firearm in the bedroom because of threats (he had received).”

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Sen Cst Keal said there was no plausible explanation for the “excessive” amount of ammunition held on the property.

Media reports initially referred to Agape Ministries as a ‘doomsday cult,’ while former members of the group claim that leader Rocco Leo defrauded his followers.

Believing that life on Earth will end after microchips are implanted into everyone by the end of 2012, they reportedly sold their assets in order to move to a Pacific Island. The weapons were said to be needed for self-defense.

Claiming they were brainwashed, two former members have sued the cult and its leaders in an attempt to get their money back.

Last November the group was stripped of its legal status as a religion.

Rocco Leo remains a fugitive.

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This post was last updated: May. 5, 2011