Federal weapons charge filed against former Conway pastor

Archie Larue Evans. Photo provided by J. Reuben Long Detention Center

Archie Larue Evans, 42, now faces a federal charge of Felon In Possession of a Firearm after he tried to take a gun inside the Federal Courthouse in Florence Wednesday morning, according to Officials with the US Attorney's Office.

During a court hearing Wednesay, a judge ruled that Evans will stay behind bars until he goes to trial on the latest charges.

The criminal complaint says Evans placed a black backpack in front of a metal detector and x-ray machine as he was about to be screened to go inside the courtroom.

The complaint say Evans told the court security officers "I am an attorney and they don't get checked, right".

Security officers told him he would have to go through the x-ray procedures and Evans walked through the machines, according to the criminal complaint.

It says court security officers found the gun inside Evans' backpack.

He was immediately detained and court security officers kept the gun and called US Marshals, according to officials.

Evans was later allowed to go into the court room where he was sentenced on Mail Fraud and Structural Financial Transactions. He pled guilty to those charges last January.

He did not report bank deposits of more than $10,000 stemming from a Ponzi Scheme that bilked people out of $2.5 million.

Evans was a pastor of Tilly Swamp Baptist Church in Conway.

He convinced church members and others to invest in a company he ran. He promised high rates of interest.

He lost or spent the money, but prepared false financial statements showing high returns.

A Federal judge sentenced Evans to seven years in prison and $3.7 million in restitution on Wednesday.

He will appear in court Thursday afternoon to be arraigned on the weapons charge.