Polygamy sect leader on FBI wanted list
Updated: 2006-05-07 12:24
SALT LAKE CITY - The FBI announced Saturday it has placed polygamist church
leader Warren Jeffs on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, hoping the additional
exposure and reward money leads to an arrest in the long-running investigation.
Jeffs, 50, is the leader of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints, based in the state line communities of Hildale,
Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.
Warren Jeffs, the
reclusive leader of a polygamous church is shown in this file photo taken
within the last year and provided by the Arizona Attorney General's
The sect split from mainstream Mormonism after the broader church renounced
polygamy in 1890. The mainstream LDS church excommunicates members found to be
Jeffs is wanted in Arizona on criminal charges of sexual conduct with a
minor. He also was charged in Utah with rape as an accomplice. He is accused of
arranging marriages between underage girls and older men.
Jeffs has not been seen by anyone outside of the FLDS community for nearly
two years and also faces a charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
"We are doing everything we can to track him down," said Tim Fuhrman, special
agent in charge of the FBI's Salt Lake City field office.
By putting him on the top-10 list, the FBI's reward increases from $50,000 to
$100,000. The list is also distributed worldwide.
"We think that the inclusion of a $100,000 reward is going to mean that
people are going to be much more aware of Warren Jeffs, they're going to be much
more aware of what he looks like, and they're going to be much more willing to
come forward to assist us in our efforts to locate him," U.S. Attorney Paul
Charlton said at a press conference in Phoenix.