Another Weird FLDS Update

Younger brother of fugitive polygamist prophet Warren Jeffs sentenced to three years probation and fined $2,500 for hindering law enforcement efforts to find his bro

Warren Jeffs
Warren Jeffs

Seth Steed Jeffs, younger brother of fugitive polygamist prophet Warren Jeffs – leader of the Mormon offshoot sect the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – was sentenced July 14 to three years probation and fined $2,500 for hindering law enforcement efforts to find his bro. Back in November, Seth Jeffs was arrested in southern Colorado along with his nephew, Nathaniel Steed Allred, after they were pulled over by cops on suspicion of drunk driving. They weren't drunk: Allred quickly told the cops that the SUV they were driving was Seth's and that his uncle had paid him $5,000 to provide him with "sexual services" – a favor that apparently caused the vehicle swerving that a passing motorist mistook for drunkenness.

The cops obtained a warrant to search the car, where they reportedly found several hundred sealed envelopes addressed to "The Prophet" or to "Warren Jeffs," along with several cell phones, roughly $140,000 in cash, and a glass jar affixed with a picture of Warren Jeffs' mug and labeled "Pennies for the Prophet." Before long, authorities realized the prophet in question was the missing Warren Jeffs, who has been on the lam for nearly a year, fleeing state and federal charges related to his arranging, and performing, marriages between married men and teenage girls.

The booty Seth and Nathaniel were hauling seemed clearly destined for the prophet, and when Seth Jeffs told authorities that he was a mere "messenger" for the FLDS, transporting the goods to a church bishop at the church's compound in the West Texas town of Eldorado, a flash of rumors took off, suggesting that Jeffs could be back in Texas, hanging at the gated Yearning for Zion ranch. The feds quickly got involved, filing charges against Seth Jeffs for concealing the whereabouts of a fugitive. But if Seth Jeffs knows where his big bro is hiding out, he ain't tellin' – under questioning, Seth Jeffs reportedly told the FBI that he didn't know where his brother was and that even if he did know, he wouldn't tell: "The prophets are often persecuted," he said – and ultimately pleaded guilty to the charge.

Prosecutors sought a three-month prison term for the younger Jeffs, but U.S. District Judge Robert E. Blackburn dismissed the possibility and instead actually had praise for Jeffs, who Blackburn reportedly said was trying to remove himself from the FLDS. "I must not and will not visit the sins of your fugitive brother on you," Blackburn said. Exactly what Jeffs did to convince Blackburn he is trying to distance himself from his FLDS family is unclear, but reportedly, Seth told the court that he knew "what I did was wrong as I was doing it, but I didn't realize the severity of what I was doing."

  • More of the Story

  • Naked City

    Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond
  • A Fetus Is a Fetus, or Is It?

    Will AG buy Texas District and County Attorneys Association's claim that changes in law, instituted by legislators during the last two legislative sessions, mean doctors who perform some abortions are now eligible to face capital murder charges and possibly a death sentence?

    Taxi Lotto No Go?

    Urban Transportation Commission searching for new system for approving taxi franchises

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle