FLDS leader Lyle Jeffs on the run after fleeing house arrest

Lyle Jeffs booking photo, Davis County Jail, Utah, Feb. 23, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Davis County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Polygamous sect leader Lyle Jeffs has fled house arrest, officials confirmed Monday, while awaiting trial on accusations he helped orchestrate a multimillion-dollar food stamp fraud scheme within the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

A warrant for Lyle Jeffs’ arrest was issued Sunday afternoon by U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Utah said Monday.

Authorities said Lyle Jeffs fled sometime over the weekend.

U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart granted Lyle Jeffs’ request to be released from jail at a June 9 hearing after the trial on food stamp fraud and money laundering charges was delayed until October.

Stewart noted that the other 10 defendants in the case already released pending trial had complied with conditions set by the court.

Lyle Jeffs’ attorney, Kathryn Nester, argued that her client’s constitutional rights would have been violated if he were jailed until trial.

Under conditions of the release, Stewart ordered Lyle Jeffs to wear a GPS monitor and live in the Salt Lake City area – more than 300 miles from his community on the Utah-Arizona border – and have no contact with witnesses, co-defendants, any alleged victims or his brother, imprisoned FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, who was once on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list.

Prosecutors objected to his release, calling Lyle Jeffs a flight risk.

Lyle Jeffs and 10 others are accused of ordering FLDS members to hand over food stamp benefits to church leaders. Federal prosecutors claim the scheme exceeds $12 million in taxpayer dollars.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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19 Comments

  • ladybugavenger June 20, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Of course, he did. Many concerned citizens never had a doubt.

  • Bob June 20, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    taxpayer subsidized pedophiles and child rapists. Got to wonder if this guy is as much a pedophile as his brother, “the prophet”, and just hasn’t been caught yet. strange folks, those pligs.

  • Bob June 20, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    the pligs have a lot of ties to plig colonies in mexico and canada, they are an obvious flight risk.

    • .... June 20, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Your need to find your meds

      • Real Life June 21, 2016 at 12:15 am

        Do you not see the irony in your comment?

        • .... June 21, 2016 at 8:19 am

          Did you not see the irony in your comment ? Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

        • Ron June 21, 2016 at 8:49 am

          Hahaha….everybody else does.

          • .... June 21, 2016 at 11:21 am

            Hahaha. …everybody else does. Duhhhhhhhhhhhh. good observation there sherlock .get some rest you must be exhausted

  • Dolly June 20, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    District Judge Ted Stewart is either dumb as a box of rocks, has a personal connection to the Jeffs, or is easily influenced (bribe)?
    It seems he is the only one in Utah that believed Lyle would hang around and wait for his court date!

  • Bender June 20, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Plyg on the run

    plyg on the run

    And the jailer man and Investigator Sam

    were searching everyone

    for the plyg on the run

  • voice of reason June 20, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    In other shocking news, metal slides are hot in July, water is wet and the sun rises in the east.

    • .... June 20, 2016 at 11:04 pm

      and in other important news today. a flock of turkey buzzards was spotted off the coast of Pago Pago water skiing behind a tuna boat while wearing pink Air Jordan high tops

  • godisdead June 20, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    The F.B.I. should start looking for Lyle Jeffs at the porn shops in Nevada, outside of girl scout camps, or hanging out around lemonade stands.

    • .... June 21, 2016 at 8:23 am

      Well the welfare office is a good place to look. considering they like the free food and services they get !

  • Ron June 21, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Judge Stewart should be run out of office and town. What a complete disgrace. Does he have a 12 year old wife??

    • .... June 21, 2016 at 11:13 am

      Maybe 11 yrs old

    • ladybugavenger June 21, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      The defense attorney should be ashamed of herself just as much as the judge should be ashamed! Where is there morality? When you stand before God is your excuse going to be, “it was my job” shame shame shame. Defense attorney, your client just proved his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt (which this whole community had none of. We had no doubt he would run)

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