9/3/08 – “Buster White” Pleads Guilty to Trafficking

Texarkana Gazette
September 3, 2008
by Jim Williamson

Man pleads guilty

Plea bargain allows trafficker to attend Alamo religious services

Buster White, right, leaves the federal courthouse Oct. 4, 2007, in Texarkana escorted by an attorney after pleading innocent to federal charges of trafficking in counterfeit merchandise including 1,400 counterfeit Nike shoes at the Great American Outlet Mall. White, 58, entered a guilty plea Tuesday to one count of trafficking in counterfeit musical CDs before U.S. District Judge David Folsom in the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana division.

A plea bargain for Leslie Ray “Buster” White, charged with trafficking counterfeit Nikes and musical compact discs, will allow him to attend Tony Alamo Ministries religious services in Fouke, Ark.

White, 58, entered a guilty plea Tuesday to one count of trafficking in counterfeit musical CDs before U.S. District Judge David Folsom in the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana division.

White will return to federal court in 60 to 90 days for formal sentencing by Folsom.

The request to attend the Tony Alamo Ministries religious services was part of the plea bargain agreement because Alamo is a convicted felon.

When a person is convicted of a felony, federal criminal guidelines restrict association with a convicted felon, said Folsom.

White asked for the exception through his attorneys, David Botsford of Austin and Texarkana attorney Craig Henry during the 20-minute court proceeding.

Alamo was sentenced to six years in federal prison in September 1994 after he was convicted in U.S. District Court in Memphis of willful failure to file an income tax return and of knowingly filing a false return.

He also was fined $210,000 and ordered to remain on probation for a year after his release, according to court documents.

Alamo ended his federal sentence in the Texarkana, Texas, Federal Correctional Institution and was released in December 1998.

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

The agreement also allowed White to “consult with his minister Tony Alamo.”

The eight-page plea agreement has been signed by White’s attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Jackson.

White pleaded innocent on Oct. 4, 2007, to federal charges of trafficking in 1,475 pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes and 1,894 CDs.

The charges were filed after a federal grand jury in Tyler, Texas, indicted White.

He was allegedly selling the counterfeit shoes and CDs from the Great American Outlet Mall on New Boston Road in Texarkana, Texas.

White told Folsom he had owned the outlet mall for about nine years.

Folsom told White he waived his right to a jury trial after he entered a guilty plea.

White said he understood he was waiving his rights.

The judge also asked why he was entering the plea and White said because he was guilty.

Folsom said the probation department will conduct a background check during the next 60 to 90 days. When the document is completed, he will return to court to be sentenced.

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

He could also be sentenced to three years of supervised probation after being released from federal prison.

The plea agreement also requires White to pay restitution of $21,775.81 to the Record Industry of America for royalties he failed to pay by selling counterfeit CDs.

He will also be required to pay $6,224.19 to ISC, a private investigation firm used to determine the CD sales.

He will forfeit $28,000 to the federal government.

The FBI, which conducted the investigation, confiscated about $109,185 in cash from a safe in the Great American Outlet Mall.

Jackson said the payments to the Record Industry of America, to ISC and the federal government will be paid from the money the FBI confiscated.

The federal government will return about $53,000 to White from the $109,185 originally confiscated.

Jackson said the shoes and CDs were forfeited and have been destroyed by federal authorities.

The investigation started from a “tip to the FBI,” said Jackson.

Jackson was unable to answer questions about how White obtained the counterfeit shoes and CDs or how the merchandise was transported to the mall.

“These are questions that I’m not in a position to answer since that information has not been made public,” said Jackson.

White was released Tuesday from federal custody on his own recognizance. In the previous court appearances since his indictment, White has also been released from custody on his own recognizance.

During appearances at Fouke City Council meetings, White has been referred to as the associate pastor of Tony Alamo Ministries. However, Alamo referred to White in radio broadcasts as “just a member” of the ministries.

After the court proceeding Tuesday, White and his attorneys declined comment.

No one attended the hearing in either support of White or in opposition.

In: 2008 - (Trial year)

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One Post

  1. concerned mother Says:

    when i come out of walmart i see those pamplets on everyones cars for alamo. it make me so mad that people are so stupid to follow a fake religous man that take advantage of children and the parent do nothing but say it ok. to the PARENTS, you should burn in HELL with ALAMO. and let me EVER catch you put another one of those pamplets on my car again, YOU WILL REALLY BE PRAYING FOR GOD THEN, YOU are no better that alamo when you pass out that crap…

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