Naked City

Wanted: polygamist preachin' 'prophet'

According to the FBI, polygamist "prophet" Warren Jeffs – head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a breakaway sect of fundamentalist Mormons – may have been spotted last month in Leesburg, Fla., shopping for property in the retirement town nestled among three lakes, about 45 miles northwest of Orlando. "There's no definitive proof that this information is true … but we wanted to put it out to make people aware in that area," FBI spokeswoman Deborah McCarley told the The Arizona Republic on Aug. 19. If true, the Leesburg sighting would mark the first time Jeffs has been spotted in public in more than a year.

Also last week, Jeffs made the big time when the FBI added him to one of its "most wanted" fugitive lists. He's wanted in Arizona on two felony counts of conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a child and sexual conduct with a child, for arranging a marriage between a 16-year-old girl and a 28-year-old married man, and on one federal felony count of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Arizona authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Jeffs' arrest. And, according to Utah radio station KSL, the outlaw prophet's woes may get worse: Arizona law enforcers told the station that Jeffs will soon face additional criminal charges related to his arranging of child-bride marriages among his flock. At press time, no additional charges had been made public.

Jeffs was last spotted in January 2004 by writer Jon Krakauer, who snapped his picture while flying over the FLDS' compound in Eldorado, Texas. In the photo, Jeffs is seen consecrating the site where the sect's massive, first-ever temple now stands. Jeffs was allegedly seen in Leesburg with about 30 of his followers "attempting to purchase additional land for the FLDS," according to the FBI wanted poster. "Jeffs may travel with a number of loyal and armed bodyguards," the poster adds, and should be considered "armed and dangerous."

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