Polygamist Sect Leader Arrested in Nevada

  • September 1, 2006

 

Warren Jeffs, the racist polygamist leader who evaded capture for over a year, will be extradited to Utah following his recent arrest in Nevada to face two counts of rape as an accomplice for allegedly arranging marriages between underage girls and older men.

Jeffs, 50, is the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS), an extreme polygamist offshoot disavowed by the official Mormon church.  He has taught his estimated 10,000 followers that African-Americans are an "immoral, filthy people" who are the representatives of the devil on Earth; he even forbade his followers to listen to popular music because it allegedly represented the "spirit of the black race."

Jeffs was arrested at a traffic stop in Nevada on August 25.  Inside the vehicle were 15 cell phones, walkie-talkies, a police scanner, laptop computers, wigs, sunglasses, credit cards and at least $54,000 in cash, according to the FBI.

Jeffs is wanted in both Arizona and Utah on a variety of charges related to his alleged participation in arranging underage marriages.  In Arizona, Jeffs is charged with two counts of sexual conduct with a minor for allegedly presiding over underage marriages, along with an additional charge of conspiracy, facing a possible six-year sentence.

 

 

Updated

On November 20, 2007, a U.S. District Court judge in St. George, Utah, sentenced racist polygamous leader Warren Jeffs to two consecutive terms of five years to life in prison for his role in the marriage of an underage girl.

Jeffs, 51, was convicted in September 2007 of two counts of first-degree felony rape as an accomplice for presiding over the marriage of a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin in Nevada in 2001.  The bride's now former husband has since been charged with rape.

Jeffs is also charged with performing similar underage-bride marriages in Arizona.

A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City, Utah, has also indicted Jeffs for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, as a result of the time he spent eluding authorities while on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.

Also on November 20, 2007, Jeffs resigned his role as President of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS).