7/01/09 – TG: Former Alamo co-pastor Buster White will serve 8 weekends in jail

Texarkana Gazette
July 1, 2009
By: Lynn LaRowe

Former Alamo follower will serve 8 weekends in jail

A former associate of Tony Alamo has agreed to serve eight weekends in jail as punishment for selling counterfeit merchandise from the Great American Outlet Mall in Texarkana, Texas, while on probation for the same offense.

Several witnesses had testified and several more were ready to take the stand when Leslie “Buster” White’s attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Jackson announced they’d come to an agreement concerning a motion to revoke White’s probation.

U.S. District Judge David Folsom of the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas approved the deal Austin attorney David Botsford and Texarkana lawyer Craig Henry negotiated for White with Jackson.

“You’re going to have to make a lot of effort yourself to comply,” Folsom said. “You said in January you were taking steps to make sure this didn’t happen again and that all the counterfeit merchandise had been removed. You’re going to have to take the appropriate steps now to ensure those items truly have been removed. Is that understood?”

In January, Folsom sentenced White to a two-year term of probation with the first 180 days to be served on home detention. At that time 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 adorned with phony designer marks.

White will begin serving his sanction of eight weekends behind bars July 31, at 6 p.m. On Sunday, Aug. 2, he will be released at 5 p.m. and return the following Friday.

White’s octet of weekend incarcerations will be served in a county jail. Folsom agreed to recommend the Red River County jail in Clarksville, Texas, but cautioned White that federal probation officials making the arrangements wouldn’t be bound by his suggestion.

The motion to revoke White’s probation was filed after state and local health inspectors and the FBI visited White’s Great American Outlet Mall at 2615 New Boston Road on March 5.

Clothing bearing copycat designer labels was confiscated and 22,600 pounds of distressed food, over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics were destroyed in March.

FBI Special Agent Susan Goldsmith testified that rooms in Buster White’s warehouse were “piled to the ceiling” with clothing and that an expert was called to help determine if the items were fakes.

“He said he bought a lot of merchandise from road jobbers, people who’d come by and sell from the back of a car,” Goldsmith said.

“There were dozens and dozens of cases of items. Both food and over-the-counter drug items with expired dates,” said Kevin White, a field inspector with the Inspections Unit of the Texas Department of State Health Services. “Some of the drug items I noticed went back to the ’90s.”

Kevin White testified that a large number of canned sodas and bottled sports drinks contributed to the heavy weight of the distressed consumables.

Both Kevin White and Texarkana, Texas, city health inspector Donna McLaughlin testified that neither the state nor the City of Texarkana, Texas, had issued citations to White concerning the violations.

McLaughlin testified she had warned White previously about selling old goods without a salvage license.

Kevin White testified that invoices Buster White offered as documentation of his purchase of the distressed goods listed Action Distributors and SJ Distribution as sellers. The most recent invoice was dated Dec. 28, 2008, Kevin White testified.

Both companies are owned by Tony Alamo Christian Ministries members, according to court documents and testimony elicited last October at Alamo’s criminal detention hearing in the Western District of Arkansas.

White publicly denounced his association with Alamo and the ministry in late December.

In: 2009 - (Trial year)

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