|FBI seeking leader of polygamist sect|
By Mark Shaffer|
The Arizona Republic - Flagstaff Bureau
The FBI on Friday issued a plea for the public's help in finding the fugitive leader of Colorado City's polygamist sect.
Warren S. Jeffs, 49, was indicted by a Mohave County grand jury in early June on sex-crimes charges involving marrying off an underage girl to another member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a multiple-marriage sect.
Jeffs was charged in a federal warrant with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution on June 27 when he failed to surrender to authorities.
He was believed to have been on land owned by the FLDS near Eldorado, Texas, when he was indicted before fleeing for Colorado and, later to another polygamist community with ties to Colorado City in British Columbia, near the U.S. border.
Deborah McCarley, a special agent for the FBI in Phoenix, said that the agency joined the hunt for Jeffs after assistance was sought by the Mohave County Attorney's Office.
McCarley said such public notices generally are reserved for the worst cases, like the search for Robert Fisher of Scottsdale, who was accused of killing his wife and two children and burning their home in 2001.
"But this is an individual (Jeffs) who is wanted for a very heinous crime, also," McCarley said.
Jeffs has been the leader of the about 6,000 members of the polygamist sect in Colorado City and neighboring Hildale, Utah, for the past five years. A Utah probate judge removed Jeffs and four other leaders of the sect last month as trustees of the communal United Effort Plan, which owns almost all the property in the two towns. The sect has no connection to the mainstream Mormon church.
The Colorado City Unified School District also was raided by state law enforcement officers last month in a probe of possible financial impropriety.
Jeffs is described as 6-feet-4, 150 pounds and with brown hair and eyes.
Anyone with information on Jeffs' whereabouts is asked to call the Flagstaff office of the FBI at (928) 774-0631 or the Mohave County Sheriff's Office at (800) 526-1911 .
Originally published July 8, 2005
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