Fort Smith - There was a bomb scare Monday afternoon on the grounds of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries church on Windsor Drive in Fort Smith. This comes on the eve of a federal court proceeding to discuss the controversial evangelist.
Police say someone mowing the lawn at the Alamo Ministries church found what they thought was the pipe bomb around 2:30 Monday afternoon. The bomb squad was called to the scene and used their robot to detonate the device to make sure it wasn't a bomb.
Fort Smith police say the mock bomb was a tube filled with gravel and capped at both ends. Investigators say the person responsible will face a felony charge when he or she is caught.
This is the latest development in the on-going saga surrounding Alamo. Alamo once ran his ministries out of a compound in Crawford County in the 1990's when Alamo was arrested and convicted on tax evasion charges.
Alamo later founded a compound in Fouke, just outside Texarkana. That compound was raided two weeks ago and six girls were removed while the FBI investigated the possibility that the girls were sexually abused.
Last Thursday Tony Alamo was arrested in Arizona. Alamo is charged with transporting minors across state lines for sexual purposes. Tuesday, a grand jury will convene in federal court in Fort Smith to hear testimony about the leader of this troubled organization.
No explosives found at the Alamo church in today's bomb scare. The investigation is ongoing.