Texas Goes after FLDS Suspects

By Brooke Adams
Salt Lake Tribune
July 24, 2008

Texas authorities began efforts Wednesday to apprehend men from a polygamous sect who face charges of sexual assault, bigamy and failure to report child abuse.

Dirk Fillpot, a spokesman with the Texas Attorney General's Office, said the search is being "coordinated with multiple law enforcement agencies to ensure all the suspects are taken into custody quickly."

Texas Ranger Capt. L.C. Wilson told the San Angelo Standard-Times on Wednesday that authorities will first try to contact the men through attorneys they are believed to have retained.

FLDS member Willie Jessop said that once the sect learns who is named in the indictments it will make arrangements for the men to turn themselves in.

"Give us the decency to come and face them," Jessop said, adding that sect members fear authorities may attempt a show of force instead. "Nobody is running. We'll face it head on."

A Schleicher County Grand Jury on Tuesday indicted six men, all FLDS members. Among them is polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs. Jeffs and four men are charged with first-degree sexual assault; one of those men also is charged with bigamy. Another man was indicted on failure to report child abuse.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott released Jeffs' name because he is incarcerated in Arizona. The other men will not be identified until they are arrested.

Tela Mange, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said Texas Rangers will work with prosecutors to locate the men.


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