Member of Alamo church faces sentencing

The Associated Press/December 27, 2008

Texarkana, Arkansas - A member of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries church faces a Jan. 8 criminal sentencing for trafficking in counterfeit musical compact discs.

Leslie Ray "Buster" White, 58, of Texarkana, Texas, pleaded guilty in September to one count of trafficking the counterfeit CDs. He will be sentenced in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas.

White reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and was released from custody so he could attend religious services at the Alamo compound in Fouke.

That request was part of the plea agreement because Alamo is a convicted felon. When a person is convicted of a felony, federal criminal guidelines restrict their association with other convicted felons, U.S. District Judge David Folsom said.

The agreement asks for an exception to the rule and allow White to "attend organized religious church services of Tony Alamo."

The eight-page plea agreement, signed by White's attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Jackson, also allowed White to "consult with his minister Tony Alamo." The agreement was signed before Alamo's arrest on federal sex charges.

White was accused of trafficking in 1,475 pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes and 1,894 CDs. The charges were filed after he was indicted by a federal grand jury in Tyler, Texas. White was accused of selling the shoes and CDs from the Great American Outlet Mall on New Boston Road in Texarkana, Texas.

White could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

The plea agreement also requires White to pay restitution of more than $21,000 to the Record Industry of America for royalties he failed to pay by selling counterfeit CDs.

Alamo remains in federal jail in Texarkana after he was arrested in September. The evangelist is accused of taking minors across state lines for sexual purposes.

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