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Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:27 AM

Seizure Warrant Issued for Warren Jeffs-FLDS Yearning for Zion Ranch



Nov 29, 2012 4:45 AM EST

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ ‘prophet,’ Warren Jeffs, is serving life in prison for child sex abuse, and now Texas has moved to seize its isolated Yearning for Zion compound. Matthew DeLuca reports.


In the most significant action Texas has taken against the property of convicted Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints leader Warren Jeffs since a Child Protective Services raid in 2008, the state filed papers Wednesday to seize the sect’s isolated ranch.

The 91-page affidavit attached to the search and seizure warrant describes a multi-year history of alleged criminal activity facilitated on the 1,691-acre compound, alleging that leaders there used the property to engage in money laundering, harbor Jeffs while he was a fugitive, and practice sexual assault and bigamy. The seizure warrant was taped to the compound’s front gate Tuesday and released to the public Wednesday.

The filing, which initiates a civil forfeiture process against the property, marks “a great day,” said Sam Brower, a Utah-based private investigator and longtime researcher of the FLDS church. “This is not a religion,” he said. “It’s a criminal organization that rapes children.”

The announcement Wednesday is the latest in an on-again, off-again series of actions Texas has taken against Jeffs and his followers, who form an ultra-hardline community that practices polygamy and is not recognized as legitimate by the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Nine members of the FLDS church, including Jeffs, have been convicted of sexually assaulting children at the ranch where Jeffs gathered elite members of his sect.

full article:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/29/seizure-warrant-issued-for-warren-jeffs-flds-yearning-for-zion-ranch.html

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:38 AM

1. Several years ago ...

I was involved in an investigation of Civil Rights violations by the FLDS in Northern Arizona.

My team found, rampant and open violations ... If you were not an active member of the Church, there was zero prospect for you working or even getting a meal in that town.

Now, I am a veteran Civil Rights worker and have been all throughout the south; and I have to tell you, that was the longest, scariest 2 weeks of my life!

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:57 PM

4. Short Creek(Colorado City), AZ I bet - right down the road from Hildale, UT

 

I used to live near there years ago and was glad to transfer out of that area.

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Response to byeya (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:27 PM

6. Bingo!

The investigation revealed that, as in the "old south" a diner objected to serving a non-church member and called the police. The non-church member left without incident (the investigation produced testimony to this effect), prior to the police arriving. Before the non-church got to their vehicle, a police officer pulled up and asked, "You're not from around here, huh? You know that you are not welcome in this town."

The non-church member was arrested, tried and jailed, for trespassing and disturbing the peace.

The investigation also revealed that in order to get a job, any job, in that town, one had to list a church elder as a reference.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:59 PM

9. Horrible! When I lived in the area a young Short Creek woman died under suspicious

 

circumstances. It was a fact she wanted to leave town and the church but other than that they all clammed up. The young woman died of "food poisoning" but no one else in the household was affected and this was the areas only case of this nature. No further action was taken.

In the summer, you'd see a male driving a flat bed truck with two or three women in the cab and a dozen or so kids riding on the bed of the truck.

Very glad you made it out of there safely.

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Response to byeya (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:05 PM

10. I gained a new respect for ...

the state's Department of Public Safety and the Federal Officers to accompanied us.

I thought their wearing vests and automatic weapons under their windbreakers was over-kill. But I must confess, Mrs. 1StrongBlackMan made me carry my 9mm in my briefcase ... and I didn't argue.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:14 PM

11. The area you were in is a dispersed ammunition dump. Up the road in Rockville, the council

 

voted to require each house within its jurisdiciton to possess a modern firearm.

When I'd talk to a person for any length of time, invariably I was told the firearms were to protect the area from Californians who would be descending upon Utah and the Arizona strip in case of war or natural disaster and the Short Creekers, and the rest of the area residents, said they were determined to keep them out.

I was even told, though I didn't believe, that the Utah National Guard had secret orders to repel all outsiders in case of disaster. They really do, for the most part, have two years worth of food in their houses.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:45 PM

2. as much as I loathe this group

I can't cheer govt seizure of private property.

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Response to Mojorabbit (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:10 PM

5. And now that they've turned property no one else wanted

into farmland with its own water & sewage treatment facilities, not to mention roads, a school, homes, & a dairy operation, of course the State wants it. Before they applied for a waiver from paying taxes on religious grounds, they paid among the highest property taxes in that county, too.

Left unsaid is the fact that the vast majority of the people living there haven't been indicted or convicted of any crime, other than belonging to a weird religion.

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Response to WolverineDG (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:36 PM

7. Warren Jeffs owns the ranch. He's been convicted of money laundering, child sex trafficking and more

If this were a meth lab property, and the owner were convicted and sent to prison, the "front" operation for the criminal actions would most certainly be seized and sold at auction. No different than a drug dealer's car or boat.

Anyone living on the property is yes, typically evicted before the sale.

Are you going to try to also stipulate that nobody on the Yearning for Zion ranch knew about Warren Jeff's criminal behavior (or aren't also perpetuating the same crimes even today?) Once Jeffs was convicted they must have known what was going to happen.... its pretty typical.



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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:44 PM

8. Jeffs does not own the Ranch

It is owned by a Trust.

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Response to WolverineDG (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:22 PM

12. You mean a trust kind of like what Mitt has?

Plus, while only Jeffs was convicted, the others were at least complicit. As stated above, little is known by outsiders as outsiders aren't allowed.

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Response to WolverineDG (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:24 PM

13. Of which he is the President and Prophet (I don't believe for a minute he transferred power)

The FLDS organization is now implicated and involved in Jeff's illegal activities. If YFZ property was involved in the illegal activity (which is surely was), it can be seized and sold is what I understand.

Full disclaimer I am not a lawyer so I'm no expert. This is just my common understanding from the story.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:45 PM

3. I am surprised that steps were not taken to block this

Hidden ownership kind of thing

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