Sheriff’s deputies found Seth Jeffs carrying $142,000 and letters addressed to “The Prophet” when he was arrested on Friday.
In today’s preliminary hearing in Federal Court, U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer expressed concern about Seth Jeffs as a flight risk because of his apparent ability to raise large amounts of money, but determined a property bond would be appropriate. Jeffs doesn’t own any property, but others can put it up for him.
The FLDS sect is estimated to have more than 10,000 followers. The group separated itself from mainstream Mormonism in 1890 when Utah denounced polygamy.
Warren Jeffs is on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list. He has been indicted on two counts of sex with a minor, but remains at large.
When Seth Jeffs’ car was pulled over Friday on Interstate 25, he told authorities he was on his way from a church headquarters in Utah to another in Texas. The driver of the car, Nathan Allred, said Seth Jeffs had paid him $5,000 for his sexual services, according to the arrest affidavit.
Deputies arrested Allred and Seth Jeffs on prostitution and solicitation charges, according to the affidavit. After getting a search warrant for the vehicle, authorities found a glass container fashioned into a donation jar. Affixed to the container was a photograph of Warren Jeffs and a label that said “Pennies for the Prophet.”
They also found several hundred letters addressed to Warren Jeffs relating to a variety of personal matters and issues involving the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
During a subsequent interview with the FBI, Seth Jeffs explained that he is a “messenger” for the church. He said he was delivering the documents and other materials to a bishop in Texas. According to the arrest affidavit, he said he didn’t know where his brother was but added that, “It would be stupid to tell anyone where he is because he would get caught.” He also told authorities that “the prophets are often persecuted.”
Concealing a person from arrest is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Seth Jeffs will be arraigned on Nov. 17th.
Jeffs told law enforcement officers he’d been living in Longmont recently.