FBI Offering $50K Reward For Lyle Jeffs' Capture
Federal authorities hope a $50,000 reward announced Monday, coupled with a falling out between polygamist fugitive Lyle Jeffs and his brother — imprisoned sect leader Warren Jeffs — will lead someone to reveal his whereabouts.
Lyle Jeffs has been on the lam after slipping out of his GPS ankle monitor and escaping home confinement in Salt Lake City in June while awaiting trial on food stamp fraud charges.
He was in touch with his brother while on the run and was sent away to repent in July after refusing to follow an order, Eric Barnhart, the FBI’s special agent in charge in Salt Lake City, said at a news conference.
Lyle Jeffs was in the sect’s community on the Utah-Arizona border when the falling out occurred, and he feared the order could put him at risk of being captured, Barnhart said.
U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart granted Lyle Jeffs supervised release on June 9. He fled less than two weeks later.
Stewart made the decision over objections from prosecutors who said Jeffs would be able to use safe houses around the country and large amounts of cash to avoid capture.
He and 10 other sect members were arrested in February on accusations of diverting at least $12 million worth of federal benefits. They have all pleaded not guilty to fraud and money laundering charges.