FLDS marshals again arrest leaseholders for trespassing; reporter threatened with arrest

COLORADO CITY, Ariz. – Just a few days after two men were arrested for trespassing on Colorado City, Arizona, property they had a legal lease to occupy, the Hildale-Colorado City Marshal’s Office arrested the men again Saturday afternoon – once again charging them with trespassing on the property. The marshals also told others at the scene with the men, including a St. George News reporter, that they would be arrested if they did not leave.

Patrick Pipkin, of Prairie Farms, and Andrew Chatwin were arrested Tuesday on one class B misdemeanor charge each for allegedly trespassing on 12-acre land that used to be the FMJ Zoo. On Saturday, the men were arrested once again on class B misdemeanor trespassing charges.


Read more: 2 men claim wrongful arrest by FLDS police force; alleged corruption captured on tape


Prairie Farms has legally leased the property through an agricultural lease agreement with the United Effort Plan Trust, but members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints moved onto the property after an eviction notice was posted, UEP Trust attorney Bill Walker said, taking up residence in a livestock tack shed and claiming the property is residential and not commercial.

Responders from the Hildale-Colorado City Marshal's Office and the Mohave County Sheriff's Office respond to the FMJ Zoo property, Colorado City, Arizona, Oct. 17, 2015 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News
Responders from the Hildale-Colorado City Marshal’s Office and the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office respond to the FMJ Zoo property, Colorado City, Arizona, Oct. 17, 2015 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News

Walker said this is a typical maneuver by FLDS people when eviction action is taken on a commercial property; they move in and claim residency in order to derail the eviction process and keep ex-FLDS or non-FLDS people off the land. In this case, FLDS individuals have moved into a tack shed at the zoo, stating it is their residential home.

Though Prairie Farms posted the requisite five-day notice to vacate following the finalization of their lease agreement, Hildale-Colorado City Chief Marshal Jerry Darger said Pipkin and others cannot legally be there until an eviction order has been obtained through the court and there is an order for physical removal of the people living in the tack shed.

“They (Pipkin and Chatwin) were informed to not come back until there was an eviction,” Darger said. “They came back with Mohave County to do a criminal investigation. They’ve accomplished that, and now they’re back over here against what they’ve been directly told not to do.”

“I would agree that the lease is a valid lease with the trust,” Darger went on to say, “but to come and take the last occupant off they need to go through the court eviction.”

From left, Andrew Chatwin and Patrick Pipkin speak with Hildale-Colorado City Marshal's Office responder and a deputy from the Mohave County Sheriff's Office, Colorado City, Arizona, Oct. 18, 2015 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News
From left, Andrew Chatwin and Patrick Pipkin speak with Hildale-Colorado City Marshal’s Office responder and a deputy from the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado City, Arizona, Oct. 18, 2015 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News

Once that has been done, Darger said, the people living on the property could be arrested for trespassing themselves.

“Then we’ll come enforce that; Mohave County would come and enforce that physical order by the court to remove them from the property,” he said.

Darger added that the people living in the tack shed were residing on the property before the lease agreement was signed, though he did not specify how long they had been there.

“They’ve been living here for however long before this was ever leased to these two gentlemen here,” he said.

Walker previously told St. George News that multiple witnesses stated the FLDS people did not move onto the property until after the eviction notice was posted. He said there is evidence the people moved items into the tack shed, including a refrigerator, only after that happened.

“They’re trying to make this look like it’s a residence, and it’s all a lie,” Walker said, “and the Marshal’s Office does nothing but help them. The Marshal’s Office does everything it can to discriminate against people who are not FLDS.”

Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints members crawl through a fence they allegedly cut on the FMJ Zoo property, Colorado City, Arizona, Oct. 17, 2015 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News
Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints members crawl through a fence they allegedly cut on the FMJ Zoo property, Colorado City, Arizona, Oct. 17, 2015 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News

Prairie Farms has consented to let the FLDS people remain in the tack shed, giving them access to it, in an attempt to temporarily resolve the dispute.

“After the arrests (on Tuesday), the next day, the people from UEP and the lessee came out and were told by me, instructed, to secure the property, to take fencing and lock up around everything and give ingress and egress to that little tack room that people are illegally inhabiting,” Walker said.

On Tuesday, more than $50,000 in damages and theft were discovered at the property, Walker said.

On Saturday, approximately 100 FLDS people were found at the zoo, loading up trucks and removing items, also causing property damage and cutting fences in order to access the property.

“This is property that is not owned by any of these people,” Walker said. “They don’t have any lease to the property.”

Mohave County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the property along with Prairie Farms representatives, including Pipkin. Hildale resident Andrew Chatwin was asked to bring his video camera and record what was happening.

Responders from the Hildale-Colorado City Marshal's Office and the Mohave County Sheriff's Office respond to the FMJ Zoo property, Colorado City, Arizona, Oct. 17, 2015 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News
Responders from the Hildale-Colorado City Marshal’s Office and the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office respond to the FMJ Zoo property, Colorado City, Arizona, Oct. 17, 2015 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News

Once again, the Hildale-Colorado City Marshal’s Office responded to the property, as well.

None of the FLDS people who were on the property were arrested or charged for the damage they caused or for the cut fences or the property removal, but Pipkin, Chatwin, UEP Trust Employee and Consultant Isaac Wyler, and others there with permission from Prairie Farms to be on the property, including a St. George News reporter, were told they would be arrested for trespassing if they didn’t leave.

Once again, marshals arrested Chatwin and Pipkin, though Pipkin once again showed the marshals the lease agreement that gave him the right to be there.

Pipkin’s young son was with him and witnessed the arrest. The child had to be picked up from the property by family members.

As of Sunday morning, Pipkin and Chatwin were still in custody at Purgatory Correctional Facility, according to information from the jail.

Walker, who is legally representing the two men, said matters like these are clear acts of religious-based persecution by the Marshal’s Office.

“They (the marshals) make no sense,” he said. “They are liars. They are handmaidens of Warren Jeffs. These people are under the spell of Warren Jeffs, and there’s nothing that he can do wrong and nothing that anybody who is an apostate can do right.”

“They (the marshals) take an oath, and they violate their oath every day,” he added.

Darger said there is no truth to allegations that the Marshal’s Office serves the FLDS church.

Though they respond to these incidents when called, Wyler said, officers from the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office refrain from interceding when an arrest is taking place or an action is being taken by the Marshal’s Office because it’s the marshals’ jurisdiction.

“They don’t want to interfere with interagency stuff,” Wyler said.

Patrick Pipkin calls to get a ride home for his young son prior to being arrested by the Hildale-Colorado City Marshal's Office, Colorado City, Arizona, Oct. 17, 2015 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News
Patrick Pipkin calls to arrange a ride home for his young son prior to being arrested by the Hildale-Colorado City Marshal’s Office, Colorado City, Arizona, Oct. 17, 2015 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News

He added that the only way incidents like this will stop is if the Marshal’s Office is disbanded.

“(It’s the) only thing I can see that would make any kind of a change,” Wyler said.

Walker said a minor charge like trespassing would normally be dealt with by issuing a citation to the individuals – not taking them to jail. His clients have now been taken to jail twice.

“Think how much it costs the city to incarcerate these people overnight,” Walker said.

He added that he plans to sue the Marshal’s Office for these actions.

“We’re going to go after their licenses and see if we can’t get them decertified as police officers,” he said.

“They’re not going to get away with this,” Walker added. “They have not heard the last of this. They’ve picked on the wrong people.”

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Email: cjim@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

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27 Comments

  • fun bag October 18, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    kinda reminiscent of why the original mormons were expelled from Missouri and illinois. They were just a bunch of religiously fanatical organized crime thugs and lecherous men claiming to be holy men. Mormons should study their own history some…

  • fun bag October 18, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    the FLDS mormons are actually a lot more true to mormon doctrine as intended by the founders when compared to “modernized” official LDS church mormons. Brigham had intended for polygamy to be forever and everlasting. I think LDS church leaders are waiting for the day that polygamy is restored to all the land, and that’s why they respect the FLDS plig mormons so greatly… any thoughts?

    • Brian October 19, 2015 at 7:33 am

      Just one: You’re an idiot.

    • fun bag October 19, 2015 at 6:42 pm

      I don’t know why you LDS’ers become so childish when true statements are made about your church. it’s funny really…

  • debbie October 18, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    the sweetest lady ran that zoo at one time, she was so nice and took in animals… i feel so sad that this zoo went into disrepair. she had flowers hanging and was keeping local boys busy with helping with the place.. to me, thats the story i feel sad about. some ppl just dont deserve the rotten luck that happens in their life. I don’t know about this whole Marshall mess.. srrsly, i’ve seen too many cowboy US Marshall movies to let myself believe that someone lucky enough to get that title would abuse it in any way… that said, this seems a bit unsatisfactory. He might be over his head with this. Does he have a superior? Does his superior have a superior? Does his superior have a superior have superior? If non of that is working, who is the state senator for this area? obviously locally this isn’t making any sense.. but i do wanna still say… lets just hope this marshall is just trying to keep peace and isn’t acting on the words of a non US Marshalls office member. He hopefully will do the right thing if those ppl are squatting and destroying property, thats serious very serious.

    • fun bag October 19, 2015 at 12:23 am

      Debbie, do you really not understand how polygamist mormon culture works up there? and why it’s enabled and encouraged by the modern LDS church?

      • aviatormh October 19, 2015 at 5:14 pm

        Fun bag you seem to understand that Mormons have been persecuted relentlessly in the past, even to the point of the governor issuing a extermination order against them, and they are still persecuted today. You your self does this every chance you get. My point is that they understand this better than most and the last thing they would do is turn around and do that to someone else. So it may appear that they approve of what’s going on but I would submit to you that’s it’s more a matter of protecting religious freedom. Having said that they would never turn the other way reguarding child abuse. They have infact stated that child abuse is a sin. But reguarding plural marriage between consenting adults I don’t see them getting involved because of the need to protect religious freedom that they were denied in the past.

        • fun bag October 19, 2015 at 6:46 pm

          Mormons have this persecution complex and value it so much, but throughout their history they were often the persecutors . You make a lot of generalizations with no facts, and also you need to study LDS history. And yes, this state has turned a blind eye to the child abuses of the pligs for a very long time. They did know.

      • debbie October 20, 2015 at 6:14 am

        fun bag.. i realize your angry with this institution and its sister / lesser /more institution… i’m not affilliated with any of it and therefore see this from only a legal perspective. its hard enough to sift thru all the garbage to get to the answer/solve of this obvious problem.. whether he is a pro flds or not, is neither here nor there, b/c someone is his superior and he can be stopped if he is not doing his job right and THATS what i care about. mentioning the zoo and the sweet lady that ran it.. was a side note. regardless of her religion, none of that changes how sweet she was. I am so sorry your anger seethes, i really do wish you peace in your journey with this.. when we feel abused/slighted/ maltreated by any person, place, thing or institution, it does not just go away on its own… hope you find a way to make the peace your heart desires.

        • fun bag October 20, 2015 at 12:23 pm

          i’m not angry at all. i just try to understand why the LDS mormon church that runs the entire state allows the FLDS plig mormons under their jurisdiction to abuse children in such horrible ways, and exploit others as well. Not only did texas prosecute utah’s pedophile prophet Jeffs but they also seized much of the plig’s land because of their crimes. The LDS mormons church has shielded these evil pligs from the laws for far too long. They have been the enablers.

    • Brian October 19, 2015 at 7:31 am

      Don’t confuse this guy with the US Marshall’s! They aren’t the same and have nothing in common. They work for completely different groups of people, and have completely different training. One works for a city, the other for the federal government (though there is a whole lot of “thuggery” going on at that level now, too). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshal

      • Accountable October 19, 2015 at 9:53 am

        In that case, wouldn’t the Washington County Sheriff and the Mohave County Sheriff have jurisdiction over the city’s marshall?

      • debbie October 20, 2015 at 6:20 am

        then he shouldn’t have the title of marshall right? well, the state representative in the end calls the shots.. they are the ones that can make calls to defund and decertify people. If this guy is actually breaking the law the with his badge than i’d go to the top, and let THAT guy / Those guys seeing how its two states, trickle down solving this. Knowing their constituents are watching and reading this paper and waiting on them to do something should definetly create some “get some get right done”… its toooooooo messy to pick thru local affilliates.. you have to go higher here and let that guy solve this.. and keep after him, call his office twice a week, find out what being done. THAT WHY WE VOTE THEM INTO OFFICE THEY ” R-E-P-R-E-S-E-N-T you and I = us. “

        • fun bag October 20, 2015 at 12:26 pm

          Those Marshal’s have been a corrupt wing of the FLDS for a loooong time. utah leaders have done nothing about it

  • r2d2 October 18, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    SCUM BAG— I have a thought. I think you’re full of crap and a right wing fanatic going the other way. Read the history of the area yourself. When the Catholic church burned down in the 1800’s, the Mormons were there to let them use the Tabernacle to hold the services. P.S. I’m not a Mormon

  • Real Life October 18, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Constant inbreeding and sex with children have finally caught up with these sick pedophiles. Surely it can’t be long until they are dealt with accordingly, right? Or will their fellow brethren continue to look the other way while the unthinkable keeps happening. At any rate, at least these “trespassers” are keeping the badge wearing child molesters on their toes.

  • SteveSGU October 19, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    My dear FLDS neighbors, when the unsuccessful raid took place against FLDS people in Texas, I tried to reach out and offer friendship, but you were too afraid to be friends with other children of God like me who don’t believe Warren Jeffs is a prophet. (He doesn’t believe it, either, as his filmed statement in jail showed.)

    Now some of you are lying about things like residence on non-residential property. If the Prophet of God himself told you to lie or to take illicit advantage of government services, you should not do it. You should do what God wants you to do, and that is to be good followers of Christ who show love to all people.

  • anybody home October 19, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Surely there’s a better piece of property for these two fellows to use for whatever it is they’re doing. Why fight over this piece of land instead? The FLDS are crazy and won’t give any non-FLDS a minute of peace when they get on their high horses and claim to be right. Are these fellows willing to put up with this BS forever, because that’s what they’ll have to do to run a business here. When the law makes it impossible to use the land they’ve leased, they’re in deep cow pies and ought to look elsewhere. Why waste time and energy with crazy people?

    • debbie October 20, 2015 at 6:25 am

      i just can’t fault these guys if they are legally the owners. its not right to mistreat someone you know has been told by the fed/state gov’t they are in the right. i hope this all gets sorted out soon.

  • Accountable October 19, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    These guys are just establishing the groundwork to sue the FLDS. Easy money.

    • fun bag October 19, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      not really. these pligs are experts at hiding assets from the gov’t

      • Accountable October 19, 2015 at 9:18 pm

        They are covered by St. Paul Guardian Insurance Co. and The Travelers Indemnity Co. and whatever is left over after the first shyster’s (Jeff’s former bodyguard, Willie Jessop) $30 million judgment.

        • fun bag October 19, 2015 at 11:01 pm

          interesting.. didn’t know this

        • fun bag October 19, 2015 at 11:07 pm

          so a rogue organization like FLDS actually has insurance?…

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