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Fundamentalist Mormon leader Lyle Jeffs arrested

Fundamentalist Mormon leader Lyle Jeffs arrested”

Jeffs is a leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was caught by the Federal Bureau of Investigation at approximately 8:30 Wednesday night.

An off-duty Yankton police detective would spot Jeffs going into a bathroom at a marina-resort area next to Lewis and Clark Lake and then again as the fugitive drove through the marina. An online log at the Minnehaha County, S.D., jail lists Jeffs as an inmate.

Jeffs was released from jail last June while he awaited trial; but, The Post reported at the time, he "was confined to his Salt Lake County home with few exceptions, told he couldn't contact various people affiliated with the sect, and made to wear a Global Positioning System monitoring device".

Jeffs' brother, Warren, was convicted of multiple sexual abuse charges and is serving a life sentence in Texas. There is now no evidence that anyone was helping him, authorities said, but they are still investigating. He said Jeffs was alone in the vehicle.

"That was Lyle's master plan to avoid capture was telling that my first name's my last name, I guess", Haug said.

Lyle Jeffs was supposed to be in court on charges that he defrauded the government out of millions of dollars, but he managed to get rid of his ankle monitor and hadn't been seen since.

The owner of a small-town South Dakota pawn shop says Lyle Jeffs revealed who he was on Tuesday when he pawned two pairs of Leatherman pliers for $37 and provided identification. Barnhart said it is unclear if Jeffs spent any time there.

John Huber, the U.S. Attorney for Utah said additional charges of fleeing could be added to the fraud charges.

His attorney later came up with an unusual explanation for the religious leader's disappearance, arguing in court documents that Jeffs may have been raptured. However, the church opened a 140-acre compound near the town of Pringle, South Dakota, more than a decade ago.

The twin cities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona - collectively known as Short Creek - straddle the Utah-Arizona border and are home base to thousands of FLDS members who consider Warren Jeffs to be the church's prophet and mouthpiece of God on Earth.

"It's a serious offense to flee justice, and we do not take it lightly", Huber said.

Nine of the people arrested alongside Lyle Jeffs have since accepted plea deals, and one person had his charges dismissed.

Sam Brower, a private investigator who has researched the sect for years said he fears prosecutors will strike a deal with Lyle Jeffs and miss the opportunity to send a message.

"Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Labor ordered Lyle, some FLDS businessmen and the church itself to pay fines totaling nearly $2 million for using children and unpaid labor during a 2012 pecan harvest".



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