Year After Slippery Escape, Warren Jeffs' Brother Is Caught

FBI says he'll face trial for fraud, money laundering
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2017 10:00 AM CDT
Year After Slippery Escape, Warren Jeffs' Brother Is Caught
Lyle Jeffs in a Feb. 23, 2016, booking photo.   (Davis County Jail via AP, File)

Lyle Jeffs literally slipped from the FBI's grasp last summer, so the agency will likely hold on a little tighter now that he's back in custody after a year on the run. Jeffs, the 57-year-old brother of polygamist Warren Jeffs and a leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was captured in South Dakota late Wednesday and is being held at Minnehaha County Jail in Sioux Falls, report the Salt Lake Tribune and Fox 13. Details about how he was captured weren't immediately made public. Apart from evading police, he's accused of involvement in a scheme to convert food stamps into cash for the church.

One of 11 FLDS leaders arrested in Utah in February 2016, Jeffs was charged with fraud and money laundering. But weeks after a judge approved home monitoring—even though prosecutors claimed he was a flight risk—Jeffs is thought to have used olive oil to slip out of an ankle monitor. Nine other church leaders have since pleaded guilty to charges and escaped jail time, while one had his charges dismissed, per the AP. But the FBI, which offered a $50,000 reward for information on Jeffs—says he will stand trial. He could face an additional charge of fleeing to avoid prosecution. (More Warren Jeffs stories.)

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