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Eight sect members now arrested in child sex abuse case

Caleb James
August 25, 2017 06:17 AM

CIBOLA COUNTY, N.M. -- Authorities in Cibola County now have eight religious paramilitary sect members under arrest after the organization became the center of multiple child abuse investigations.

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Newly obtained body camera footage shows deputies raiding the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps rural compound on Sunday. During that raid, law enforcement found 11 children.

The four arrests that day kicked off a tense week between the self-styled militia and law enforcement. Four more sect members were arrested Thursday.

MORE: Christian paramilitary sect leader speaks out

Two vans drove on a state road, filled with luggage and the 11 children, Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace said. Those children are now in Albuquerque, being interviewed privately by the FBI.

Sunday's raid resulted in 100 counts of sexual abuse filed against sect member Peter Green. After discovering those 11 children -- many without birth certificates or other forms of identification -- deputies tried to arrange an interview with those kids. Mace said an agreement to interview them fell apart Wednesday.

Then Thursday morning, four sect members were seen driving away from Grants with those kids.

"When they make their approach on the vehicle, it's loaded with children -- the van," Mace said. "There's another van with them loaded with children, and it's the 11 children from the organization we were trying to interview. They had road maps, luggage and a large amount of cash. Basically, everything that would lead you to believe they were leaving the area."

Those four arrests Thursday -- of Ruth River, Amos River, Victoria River and Timothy River -- were all given aliases by the group. An attorney for the four said they were not running; they were on their way to Albuquerque to meet with him.

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Caleb James

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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