The FBI raided the Imperial Valley Ministries (IVM) church following allegations made against the church in El Centro Tuesday morning.
According to Assistant Church Pastor Victor Gonzales, this all stems from allegations made by the mother of a person that was getting services from the ministry in 2016.
The mother claims that her daughter was being held against her will and that she was brainwashed to stay with the ministry.
Pastor Gonzales said the FBI confiscated $45,000 and took several computers and financial records as evidence. Gonzales added that the FBI raided their church on Broadway Avenue, in El Centro, and five of their recovery homes.
The recovery homes hosted single mothers and children, and other people recovering from drug additions.
The church has about 90 current members in the Imperial Valley.
Gonzalez said the FBI is raiding other IVM churches in other states, as well. He said they have nothing to hide, but it does make their work more difficult.
“This lady, she wasn’t happy because her daughter was in the women’s home. We tried to help her out as much as we could. We tried to help her out even to bring her son, and the mom was always in denial. She ended up leaving and when she got home all these accusations started popping up,” Gonzales said.
The FBI has yet to comment on the raid.