Federal and state authorities apparently removed students from housing at a private school in Ludowici Wednesday afternoon.
According to Homeland Security spokesman Vincent Picard, agents from one of the agency’s area offices executed a federal search warrant in support of an ongoing criminal investigation at the Faith Baptist Christian Academy in Ludowici. There were teens from overseas housed in a building on the property.
The Rev. Terry Sellars, pastor of Faith Baptist Church, which runs the school, said he was surprised by the raid. Neither he nor officers involved explained why the school was raided.
Sellars, however, said there have been accusations against the church about the housing of students. He would not elaborate. He did say they are being investigated over incidents that had occurred elsewhere.
He said the school helps bring high school-age students here to be educated. The students are American- and foreign-born.
Shawn Brown with the Long/Liberty County Department of Family and Children Services said his office is assessing the conditions the children were living in. He would not discuss how many children where involved, where they were being taken, nor the conditions in which they had been living.
He did say the students range in age from pre-teens to teens. He said his office has about six employees processing them.