FOUKE, Ark. - FBI agents and state police raided an evangelist's headquarters Saturday as part of a child pornography investigation, and social workers interviewed children who live at the complex in southwestern Arkansas to find out whether they were abused.
The raid at the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries south of Texarkana started an hour before sunset, but state police said no one was arrested. Armed guards regularly patrol the headquarters of the group — which critics call a cult — but there was no resistance as agents moved in, state police said.
Tom Browne, who runs the FBI office in Little Rock, said the investigation involved the Mann Act, which prohibits the transportation of children across state lines for criminal activity.
"Children living at the facility may have been sexually and physically abused," Browne said.
In a phone call to The Associated Press from a friend's house in the Los Angeles area, Tony Alamo — who was once accused of child abuse and has been convicted of tax evasion — denied involvement in pornography.
"We don't go into pornography; nobody in the church is into that," Alamo said. "Where do these allegations stem from? The anti-Christ government. The Catholics don't like me because I have cut their congregation in half. They hate true Christianity."