FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A former pastor, facing federal charges stemming from a money laundering scheme that bilked over a dozen people out of millions, tried to take a gun into a Florence courthouse Wednesday morning.
Archie Larue Evans, of Aynor, had a firearm inside a bag during a security check, a source from the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Evans was ordered to go into his sentencing hearing, after U.S. Marshals took the firearm.
"The security of the judiciary, court family, and other tenants of the McMillan Federal Building is taken very serious by the US Marshals. Today, a potential serious situation was averted due to the diligence of the court security officers and the use of modern high tech equipment. While Mr. Archie Evan's intentions are unclear at this time, the US Marshals not only have the responsibility of protecting the court family, but also must provide a safe environment for the citizens of South Carolina to conduct business at the federal building," U.S. Marshal Kelvin Washington said.
Evans was to appear before a judge following an indictment of more than a dozen charges.
He pleaded guilty to two of the 14 charges, including mail fraud and defrauding the U.S. government. He was sentenced to seven years in prison followed by three years supervised probation, and must pay restitution of $3,763,339, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Day.
According to federal court documents, Evans has filed for an appeal.
While pastoring Tilley Swamp Baptist, Evans reportedly devised a plan to defraud more than a dozen people of $2.5 million, according to an indictment issued by a U.S. District Court. The crimes took place between 2004 and 2011.
After Evans is sentenced on the prior indictment, the ATF will charge him of being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. However, as of Thursday afternoon, he has not been charged with anything related to bringing to gun to federal court Wednesday.
Evans is being held at J. Reuben Long Detention Center until he is assigned a prison by the Department of Corrections.