Polygamous Leader Warren Jeffs' Brother Lyle Flees Home Confinement: Cops
The leader of a polygamous Mormon sect is allegedly on the lam after police say he fled house arrest while on pre-trial release.
Lyle Jeffs, brother to incarcerated FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, was awaiting an upcoming federal food stamp fraud trial when the FBI says he slipped out of home confinement in Salt Lake City sometime over the weekend.
A warrant was issued Sunday morning for the 56-year-old's arrest.
"The FBI is the lead agency in this fugitive investigation and will, with the assistance of law enforcement partners, vigorously pursue all leads for Jeffs’ apprehension," FBI Salt Lake City said in a statement.
Just this month, a judge released Jeffs from jail as he awaited trial in the alleged multi-million dollar food stamp scheme. He was ordered to wear a GPS and not leave his home except for work, the doctor and court.
Officials said they will not be releasing information on how Jeffs was able to escape.
Prosecutors objected Jeff's release, calling him a flight risk.
A message left for Jeffs' attorney was not immediately returned.
Lyle Jeffs reportedly runs the day-to-day operations in the polygamous community of Hildale, Utah.
Jeffs and 10 other defendents are accused of helping to divert food stamp benefit proceeds from authorized beneficiaries to leaders of the FLDS Church for use by ineligible beneficiaries and for unapproved purposes.
All the defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Jeffs' brother Warren Jeffs is serving a life sentence in Texas after being convicted of sexually assaulting girls he called his brides.