It’s week two of a manhunt for a leader of a polygamous sect of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Federal authorities say Lyle Jeffs is wanted on charges of food stamp fraud. Arizona Public Radio’s Aaron Granillo reports Jeffs escaped house arrest after removing his GPS monitoring device.
Jeffs is accused of leading a 12-million-dollar food stamp fraud scheme. Prosecutors say he instructed FLDS followers to use their food stamps to buy goods, and then donate them to the church for redistribution. Instead, Jeffs allegedly used the goods and cash for personal benefit. Willie Jessop is a former security guard for the Jeffs’ family. He’s helping federal agents in their search.
“We’re pursuing every lead that we can put together in getting this man captured. I think it’s going to be a long process, but whatever it is, we need to get started,” says Jessop.
Jeffs’ trial was set for October when he vanished from his Salt Lake City home. The FBI is asking the public to report any information on his whereabouts.