Officials Back at Alamo Compounds

Associated Press, carried on WXVT

November 18, 2008

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) - State child protection officials and state police served court orders today at more than a dozen locations related to Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, with the aim of taking children into protective custody.

Agents went to 14 homes in the Fort Smith area but found no children. Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler says that in Miller County, agents located children at properties where the orders were executed. But Sadler said early this afternoon that he didn't have full information yet on how many properties were visited and how many children were located.

The actions took place as hearings continued in Texarkana over the fate of 6 girls seized in September. At issue is whether they should be returned to their parents or remain in care arranged by the state.

The action by the Department of Human Services was still going on in Miller County in the early afternoon. Sadler says the actions were not raids, rather a matter of court orders being executed.

Alamo was arrested in September, days after his compound in Fouke was raided by state and federal agents. The six girls between, ages 10 and 17, were seized for their own protection.

Alamo has preached that the Bible allows young girls to marry once they reach puberty but has said he didn't adopt the practice. However witness testimony and assertions from prosecutors indicate otherwise.

Calls to Alamo's attorney, John Wesley Hall Jr., were not immediately returned Tuesday, and DHS spokeswoman Julie Munsell didn't return calls for comment.


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