Texas Seizes Warren Jeffs' Infamous Ranch
Nearly 6 years after FBI agents raided the property
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 18, 2014 2:15 AM CDT
Texas Department of Public Safety cars idle along a road on the Yearning for Zion Ranch, Thursday, April 17, 2014, near Eldorado, Texas. State agents have seized the property, which belonged to the Fundamentalist...   (Jennifer Rios)

(Newser) – The secluded Texas ranch where followers of imprisoned polygamist Warren Jeffs lived in near isolation was seized by state agents yesterday, nearly six years after FBI agents raided the property and removed 439 children amid child sex abuse allegations. (All of the children were eventually returned. But about a dozen men, including Jeffs and other high-ranking FLDS lieutenants, were arrested on charges of sexual assault or bigamy and later convicted.) The Texas Department of Public Safety said its agents took possession of the Yearning For Zion Ranch near Eldorado. In a statement, DPS said only eight adults were still living on the West Texas property and agreed to leave after meeting with agents.

The state asked a judge to allow the forfeiture, alleging that FLDS leaders financed a $1.1 million purchase of the land in 2003 through money laundering. It also cited sexual assaults committed on the property. Under Texas law, authorities can seize property that was used to commit or facilitate certain criminal conduct. A judge granted the state's request in January. Jeffs is serving life in prison after being convicted in 2011 of sexually assaulting two girls he took as child brides.

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Showing 3 of 30 comments
Apr 18, 2014 2:03 PM CDT
Secluded? NOT. That was an apparently overlooked story when Jeffs and his FLDS MORMON buds looked to move into this town. It was a months long, public discussion among the townfolk as to "should we or shouldn't we" let these bozos into the town. Money and building expenditures trumped[sic] their initial chrishcun concerns about a Mormon offshoot setting up a breeding compound in their neck of the woods. This was not a little, quiet, stealthy try to stay below the radar operation. And that is MONTHS before the Dept. of Children's Services raid.
Apr 18, 2014 1:18 PM CDT
There is an even bigger story here. The FBI, and state agents, worked together! Well done!
Apr 18, 2014 9:41 AM CDT
So much for freedom of religion in Texas. I guess only the catholic clergy are allowed to abuse kids without any penalty.