Polygamist Leader Lyle Jeffs May Have Wriggled Out of Ankle Monitor With Olive Oil, FBI Says
The FBI believes polygamist leader Lyle Jeffs may have given them the slip with the help of some olive oil.
The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints leader was on home confinement while awaiting trial when authorities believe he somehow slipped out of ankle monitor and fled.
"He used a substance which may have been olive oil to lubricate the GPS tracking band and slip it off his ankle," FBI agent Eric Barnhart of the Salt Lake City field office told reporters this week.
Authorities say Jeffs drove away in June from a Salt Lake City house where he was awaiting his federal trial along with several other members of the sect.
Jeffs remains at large, has bodyguard protection and is considered exrtremely dangerous, according to the FBI.
A warrant was issued June 19 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.
Last month, a judge released Jeffs from jail as he awaited trial in an 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.
Prosecutors objected Jeff's release, calling him a flight risk.
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, the former leader of the FLDS church, is currently serving a life sentence in Texas after being convicted of sexually assaulting girls he called his brides.