Feds Nab 'Prophet'

Warren Jeffs – leader of breakaway Mormon sect the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – caught during a traffic stop just north of Vegas

After more than a year on the lam, fugitive polygamist prophet Warren Jeffs – leader of the breakaway Mormon sect the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – was nabbed Monday night, Aug. 28, by a Nevada Highway Patrol officer during a traffic stop just north of Las Vegas. Jeffs has dodged the law since June 2005, when he was first indicted in Arizona on charges connected to his arranging marriages between young girls and older, married men. The feds later tacked on a charge of unlawful flight to evade prosecution, followed by two additional felony charges of rape-as-accomplice filed in Utah that are also connected to Jeffs' role in arranging polygamist marriages – or so-called "spiritual" marriages – involving underage girls. And in May the FBI added Jeffs to its Ten Most Wanted list.

Reportedly, Jeffs was riding with two others – one of his wives, 32-year-old Naomi Jeffs, and one of his brothers, Isaac Steve Jeffs, also 32, who are being questioned by the FBI, but have not been arrested. Warren Jeffs, on the other hand, has been placed in federal custody, pending a hearing in federal district court in Las Vegas on the unlawful flight charge; at press time it was not clear whether authorities then seek to extradite him to Arizona to stand trial there.

Meanwhile, building at the FLDS' Yearning for Zion ranch in the West Texas town of Eldorado continued unabated even as the search for Jeffs intensified, says Randy Mankin, editor and publisher of the Eldorado Success, the weekly paper that broke the story of Jeffs' arrest Monday night.

Got something to say on the subject? Send a letter to the editor.

  • More of the Story

  • Naked City

    Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond

    Weed Watch

    North Dakota ag commissioner signs off on final version of proposed state rule that would allow farmers to obtain state approval to grow industrial hemp

    Salvaging Our Parks

    Texas State Parks Advisory Committee releases list of recommendations for saving long-neglected state park system
  • Cyclists Run Over Helmet Law Idea

    Former Mayor Bruce Todd's proposed mandatory bicycle helmet ordinance coasts to a stop for now

    Affordable Housing in NOLA

    New report on housing conditions in post-Katrina New Orleans offers immediate and long-term recommendations for fixing the city's decimated fair and affordable housing market

    Morning-After Pill Approved

    After years of wrangling and delays, FDA accepts a bid to make Plan B emergency contraceptives available for over-the-counter sales t o women 18 and older

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 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  

More Warren Jeffs
'Modern-Day Lynching' of a Prophet
'Modern-Day Lynching' of a Prophet
Jury selection begins in Texas case for Warren Jeffs

Jordan Smith, July 29, 2011

But Texas Wants You Anyway
But Texas Wants You Anyway
Warren Jeffs resists extradition

Jordan Smith, Sept. 10, 2010

More by Jordan Smith
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
Motoreum's Yusuf & Antonio talk about the biz and their reality TV debut

May 22, 2014

APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
Musical chairs at Downtown HQ

May 9, 2014


Warren Jeffs, Randy Mankin, Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, FLDS

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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