A man known internationally as the "Machine Gun Preacher" said Friday that federal agents interrupted his charity work in Africa when they raided his Pennsylvania home, business and warehouse Wednesday.
"They went into a container that was packed and ready to come to the orphanage and totally destroyed it," Sam Childers, currently in Africa, told WJAC-TV over the phone. "I mean, destroyed it, and what's so sad is that it was all children’s clothes."
According to WJAC-TV, the FBI said they couldn't elaborate on why they conducted the raid or comment on a pending investigation.
But, the "Machine Gun Preacher," who was previously the recipient of the Mother Theresa Award, said that he thinks the joint FBI/IRS Wednesday raid stems from false allegations that he is smuggling firearms made by a former son-in-law. According to Childers, that son-in-law has stolen thousands of dollars from his Angels of East Africa nonprofit.
"This guy is in a lot of problems so what he's been doing is he's been telling the FBI that I'm smuggling guns and that I'm misusing funds," Childers said. "To start with, it's all lies and I'm telling everyone we've got nothing to hide."
[sharequote align="center"]"I don’t have anything to hide, I mean, me smuggling guns? Come on, be for real."[/sharequote]
"I don’t have anything to hide, I mean, me smuggling guns? Come on, be for real," he continued. "What of guns am I going to smuggle over here for a war? A deer rifle? That's stupid."
One of the charity's volunteers added that the only person the feds are hurting are the children.
"They're hurting the kids. This stuff is sent from all over the world and people's hearts and they just come in and just treat it like it's garbage," Kim Growden told WJAC-TV. "When you do God's work you have to you know, I'll just start all over. That's all I can do. It's not for me or for us, it's for the kids."
Childers' life story was the subject of the 2011 film "Machine Gun Preacher," which according to IMBd is the incredible true story of a "former drug-dealing biker tough guy who found God and became a crusader for hundreds of Sudanese children."
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