Warren Jeffs' Brother Literally Slips From FBI's Grasp

Thanks to ... olive oil?
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2016 9:13 AM CDT
Warren Jeffs' Brother Literally Slips From FBI's Grasp
Lyle Jeffs leaves the federal courthouse in Salt Lake City in 2015.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

The brother of jailed polygamous Mormon sect leader Warren Jeffs is on the run from the FBI after using "some sort of lubrication, possibly olive oil," to wriggle out of his ankle monitor, say police. Lyle Jeffs, one of 11 leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints facing fraud and money-laundering charges, had been ordered to remain at his Salt Lake City home except for work, medical appointments, and court hearings, says the FBI. However, a warrant was issued for his arrest last month when the 56-year-old leader vanished from his home. Investigators say a Ford Mustang pulled into Jeffs' garage around 10:30pm on June 18, then left later that night, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. The next day, agents found the GPS monitor but couldn't locate Jeffs.

"He used a substance which may have been olive oil to lubricate the GPS tracking band and slip it off his ankle," an agent tells Fox 13. "The damage to the bracelet was not such to trigger the full array of alarms that law enforcement or the US Marshal's Service would have responded to." A judge ordered Jeffs be released from jail on June 9 when his trial for a $12 million food stamp fraud and money-laundering scheme was delayed. Prosecutors—who say food stamps were cashed at sect-owned stores and the money diverted to the church—had argued Jeffs was a flight risk. "Blame the judge for this," one of Jeffs' half-brothers tells the Tribune. "Everybody knew that he was going to do this." Jeffs, who surrendered his passport, could be hiding in FLDS havens in the US, Canada, or South America, reports the Deseret News. (More FLDS stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.