Church leaders given longer sentences

November 20, 2001|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

Three Howard County missionaries who won a new trial after pleading guilty to smuggling youngsters into the United States to work in menial jobs were sentenced a second time in federal court in Baltimore yesterday - and got stiffer terms.

U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis more than doubled the sentences he imposed in 1999 on Joyce E. Perdue and Robert C. Hendricks, and added three months to Elizabeth Brown's prison term.

Garbis said the evidence he heard during the trial in December showed that the missionaries exploited the children they brought from Estonia under the pretense of giving them religious training.

Garbis sentenced Perdue, 57, pastor of the Word of Faith World Outreach Church in Woodbine, to six years; Hendricks, 40, the assistant pastor, to 6 1/2 years, and Brown, 42, the church administrator, to 15 months.

In 1999, they pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit visa and immigration fraud. They won a new trial last year when the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Garbis should have allowed the defendants to argue that they believed the Estonians' work for the church was not subject to U.S. immigration rules.

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