5/28/09 – TG: Man [Buster White] accused of violating his probation

Texarkana Gazette
May 28, 2009
By: Lynn LaRowe

Man accused of violating his probation

A former Tony Alamo associate sentenced to federal probation in January for selling counterfeit CD labels was back in court Wednesday because of similar accusations.

Leslie “Buster” White, 58, stood before U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven of the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas and entered a plea of “not true” Wednesday to allegations he has violated a mandatory condition of his probation by committing a new criminal offense.

“It is apparent that Mr. White has continued to operate his business in a manner that does not comply with local, state and federal laws,” said the government’s May 8 petition to revoke White’s two-year probation.

On March 5, the FBI searched White’s business, Sissie’s Place, on New Boston Road and recovered 42 pairs of shorts with the Tommy Hilfiger logo, 18 pairs of jeans shorts bearing the Polo logo and about 376 other articles of clothing investigators determined were adorned with fake logos, the petition said.

Additionally, the Texas Department of State Health Services seized and destroyed about 22,600 pounds of “… distressed food, drugs and cosmetics on the sales floor, on hand, found loose, in banana boxes and/or in cases,” the petition said.

The petition alleges White had been selling the distressed items without a salvage license.

Sissie’s Place, The Great American Flea Market and Independent Tire Service all list 2615 New Boston Road as an address.

The petition to revoke describes the government’s seizure of the counterfeit merchandise and distressed goods as occurring at Sissie’s Place.

White is not currently facing new criminal charges at the state or federal levels in connection with the March seizures, said his defense attorney, Craig Henry of Texarkana. David Botsford of Austin is also representing White but was not in court Wednesday.

At a previous hearing, Botsford said White has severed his association with Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, saying the “specter of alleged misconduct over there is disturbing.”

An offender accused of violating the terms of probation is asked by the court whether the allegations are true or not true.

When Henry told Craven his client wanted to enter a plea of not true, she scheduled him to appear in late June for a hearing before U.S. District Judge David Folsom.

If after hearing testimony from both sides, if Folsom determines White has violated his probation, he could order White to serve his time in a federal prison.

When Folsom sentenced White on Jan. 8 to two years’ probation with the first 180 days to be served on house arrest, White told the judge he had “… taken steps to make certain it does not happen again.”

The petition to revoke alleges White was made aware he was offering illegal, counterfeit goods for sale in June 2003. The items that led to his probation were seized March 1, 2007.

As part of his plea agreement, White agreed to forfeit about 1,894 compact discs bearing counterfeit labels, about 1,425 pairs of tennis shoes with fake Nike “swooshes” and clothing, sunglasses and purses with copycat designer labels.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Jackson told Craven the government was not asking that White be jailed for his alleged probation violations.

“It is even more important now for you to comply with those conditions, Mr. White,” Craven said.“You wouldn’t want to do anything to jeopardize your pre-hearing release status.”

In: 2009 - (Trial year)

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