Nine arrested in FLDS raid, leader to remain in custody for now

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SALT LAKE CITY — Nine people have now been arrested in connection with an FBI raid on the Fundamentalist LDS Church.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Utah announced that Hyrum Dutson had surrendered and was booked into Washington County’s Purgatory Jail. At a hearing before a federal magistrate judge in St. George on Friday, Dutson was granted release — on the condition he wear a GPS monitoring device. U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Braithwaite also released Preston Barlow under similar restrictions.

Earlier this week, federal agents raided businesses linked to the Utah-based polygamous FLDS Church, accusing 11 people (including FLDS bishop Lyle Jeffs) of food stamp fraud and money laundering. During a hearing Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, FLDS leader John Wayman was ordered to remain detained pending another hearing March 7.

Prosecutors accuse them of ordering members to hand over food stamp┬ácards to FLDS leaders to go into the church’s United Order, in a scheme that exceeds $12 million. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is resisting efforts to release FLDS leaders from jail, pointing to a network of safe houses in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and South America, and the lengths church members have gone through to keep their leaders on the run (disguises, burner phones and fake IDs). FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, was once on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list.

Lyle Jeffs appeared in court earlier this week, and will have a detention hearing on March 7.

 

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