FBI: Polygamous Sect Leader Lyle Jeffs Arrested In South Dakota

Thursday, June 15th 2017, 9:42 am
By: News On 6

Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints leader Lyle Jeffs is behind bars in South Dakota almost a year after fleeing federal custody in Utah.

KUTV, the CBS affiliate in Salt Lake City, has learned Lyle Jeffs, 56, had been located and taken into custody.

Minnehaha County Jail in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, confirmed was being held with no bond on a Federal Marshals Service hold, meaning Jeffs' warrant for arrest was issued by a United States District Court.

Jeffs fled custody in 2016, less than two weeks after a judge allowed him to await federal trial from a Salt Lake County area home.

Lyle Jeffs is a religious leader and brother to Warren Jeffs, who leads the FLDS Church, a sect of Mormonism that reveres him as God's prophet on earth.

Warren Jeffs is currently jailed for child rape and leads the FLDS church from there, according to federal authorities.  He was convicted of child rape of one of his underage brides in what his religion considers a "spiritual marriage" and was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years. DNA evidence showed he fathered a child with a then 15-year-old girl in 2008.

Lyle Jeffs was known to correspond with his brother, including since he has been avoiding federal custody.

The FBI said in June 2016 that it was leading the investigation and search for Lyle Jeffs with the assistance of local and federal law enforcement.