Polygamist fugitive caught in traffic stop
LAS VEGAS – A fugitive polygamist leader who was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List was found with cell phones, laptop computers, wigs and more than $50,000 in cash when he was arrested in Nevada, authorities said Tuesday.Warren Steed Jeffs, 50, was arrested without incident and no weapons were found when he and two others were pulled over on a routine traffic stop and taken into custody late Monday, said FBI special agent in charge Steven Martinez.Jeffs, who was not driving, was stopped in a red 2007 Cadillac Escalade by a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper on Interstate 15 just north of Las Vegas.He was being held as a fugitive in the Clark County jail. He faces sexual misconduct charges in Utah and Arizona for allegedly arranging marriages between underage girls and older men. It was not immediately clear if Jeffs would face extradition to Arizona or Utah.”The inventory search is not complete. No weapons were found in the car, thus far, or at the scene,” Martinez told reporters in Las Vegas.Martinez said Jeffs initially used an alias, but Martinez would not disclose the name.Traveling companionsThe two people traveling with Jeffs, one of Warren Jeffs’ wives, Naomi Jeffs, and a brother, Isaac Steed Jeffs, both 32, were interviewed and released, Martinez said.After consulting with authorities in Utah and Arizona, “it was determined they would not be charged for harboring or any other offenses,” he said. “They are now on the street.””Needless to say I’m extremely proud of our Department of Public Safety state troopers,” said George Togliatti, director of the Nevada Department of Public Safety. “Our trooper did a fantastic job.”Isaac Jeffs was driving the SUV, which was stopped for having no visible registration, Togliatti said.An FBI agent was summoned to confirm Jeffs’ identity, authorities said.Jeffs, leader of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was indicted in June 2005 on an Arizona charge of arranging a marriage between a 16-year-old girl and a married man, and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. He is charged in Utah with two felony counts of rape as an accomplice, for allegedly arranging the marriage of a teenage girl to an older man in Nevada.The FLDS Church split from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when the mainstream Mormon Church disavowed plural marriage more than 100 years ago.Most of the church’s estimated 10,000 members live in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.
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