6 members of Alamo church arrested for pamphlets

The Associated Press/November 8, 2008

Texarkana, Texas - Six members of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries have been arrested for distributing handbills on vehicles in Texarkana, Texas.

All six members were charged with violating a city ordinance against distributing handbills on unattended vehicles. The charge carries a maximum sentence of a $267 fine.

Sgt. Shawn Fitzgerald, public information officer for the Texarkana, Texas, Police Department, says the members have been released from custody.

"We've had a massive influx of those folks from the ministry in Fort Smith, Arkansas. We've had many complaints throughout the city," Fitzgerald said.

"The members putting out the fliers have been like stealth ninjas. We've had patrol units right there when we would get a complaint and they would be gone."

He said the ministry members did not heed earlier warnings.

"We detained a couple of them a few days ago and gave them a stern warning, advising them against placing handbills on unattended vehicles," Fitzgerald said. "If a person wants a handbill, they can hand one to them, but we have an ordinance against placing them on unattended vehicles.

"It creates litter in parking lots and it causes problems for the street sweepers."

Alamo is in jail in Texarkana, accused of bringing a minor across state lines for sex. Alamo's trial is scheduled for Feb. 2.

The subject of the distributed fliers complains about the alleged charges filed against Alamo.

The flier says, "This entire case is a bid for the world government to put a stop to the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, and the freedom to preach the Bible as it is. What next will the government say that you can't preach from the Bible?"

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