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      Former pastor accused of trying to take gun in Florence federal courthouse

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

      Officials with the US Attorney's Office said Archie Larue Evans, 42, tried to take a gun inside the Federal Courthouse in Florence Wednesday morning.

      They said court security officers found the gun inside Evan's backpack as it was being scanned through metal detectors and x-ray machines.

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

      Evans was in court to be sentenced after he pled guilty last January to Mail Fraud and Structural Financial Transactions.

      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 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.

      US Attorney's Office says Archie Evans is sentenced to 7 years in prison and had to pay more than $3.7 million in restitution.