Evangelist and convicted tax evader Tony Alamo has waived his right to fight extradition to Arkansas after his arrest on charges he took minors across state lines for sexual purposes.

Alamo appeared briefly Friday in U.S. District Court in Flagstaff. U.S. marshals will move him as soon as possible, although it isn’t known exactly when.


Evangelist and convicted tax evader Tony Alamo has waived his right to fight extradition to Arkansas after his arrest on charges he took minors across state lines for sexual purposes.

Alamo appeared briefly Friday in U.S. District Court in Flagstaff. U.S. marshals will move him as soon as possible, although it isn’t known exactly when.

The one-time rock promoter and street preacher was arrested by the FBI while leaving a Flagstaff hotel Thursday on charges of violating the Mann Act, usually used in interstate prostitution cases.

Federal prosecutors sought Alamo’s arrest after interviewing six girls taken into state custody during a raid of his Fouke, Ark., compound Saturday.

Alamo told U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark E. Aspey he had legally changed his name to Tony Alamo from his birth name, Bernie Lazar Hoffman. He also said he was legally blind.

Court documents in the case were sealed.

Alamo was represented by a federal public defender but said he planned to hire his own attorney. The defense lawyer was then released from the case. He declined to comment.

Alamo has said the age of consent is puberty and there’s a mandate in the Bible for girls marrying young.

“In the Bible it happened. But girls today, I don’t marry them if they want to at 14-15 years old,” Alamo told The Associated Press after the raid. “We won’t do it, even though I believe it’s OK.”

Federal agents and Arkansas state police who raided the headquarters of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries in Fouke removed six girls ages 10 to 17. They said they were seeking evidence children there had been molested or filmed having sex.

Hearings began Friday in Arkansas for the girls at the Miller County courthouse in Texarkana to determine whether the state can keep custody of them during the criminal case against Alamo.