Lyle Jeffs, a leader of the polygamist Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who has been accused of large-scale food stamp fraud and money laundering, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday after almost a year on the run.
Yankton County Chief Deputy Sheriff Michael Rothschadl told the Associated Press that Jeffs surrendered without incident at a marina near Yankton, where an off-duty police detective spotted a vehicle that authorities believed the fugitive polygamist had been driving. He was being held without bond on a Federal Marshals Service hold in South Dakota's Minnehaha County, according to booking records.
After Warren Jeffs was convicted in 2011 of sexually assaulting two girls and sentenced to life in prison, Lyle Jeffs assumed the day-to-day control of the FLDS church.
The FLDS split from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 1930s after the Mormon establishment rejected polygamy.
After his brother's imprisonment, Lyle Jeffs became acting leader of the FLDS sect, a radical offshoot of Mormonism that began splintering from the mainstream church more than a century ago.
A tip led to Jeffs' capture at a recreation-area marina near Yankton, said Eric Barnhart, the FBI's Special Agent in Charge for the Salt Lake City Division.
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Khan called it "a deliberate attack on innocent Londoners, many of whom were finishing prayers during the holy month of Ramadan". Residents said they were "shocked" after seeing photographs of their neighbour being arrested in London.
Jeffs made his first appearance in US District Court in Sioux Falls today.
Jeffs, who is accused of heading an intricate food stamp fraud scheme, apparently was living out of his pickup truck near the southeastern South Dakota town on the Missouri River when authorities arrested him.
Jeffs was granted release from jail last June, despite Utah prosecutors arguing he'd be a flight risk.
Jeffs became a fugitive the weekend of June 18-19, 2016 when he slipped off his Global Positioning System ankle monitor using olive oil or another lubricant and fled from a Salt Lake City house where he was on supervised home release, authorities have said. It's not clear if FLDS members provided Jeffs support while he was on the run, but Barnhart said the fugitive bishop had limited communication and resources over the a year ago.
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. "We had very serious concerns". They say food stamps were also cashed at sect-owned stores without the users getting anything in return. The funds garnered were, then, diverted to "front" companies for purchasing thousands of dollars in items such as a tractor and a truck.
Nine of the people arrested alongside Lyle Jeffs have since accepted plea deals, and one person had his charges dismissed.
Jeffs and the other defendants claimed that they were sharing food and that it was a facet of their communal living.