DENVER – A global positioning system seized from the brother of polygamist church leader Warren Jeffs is being used in what federal prosecutors Thursday were calling only “other investigative matters.”
The investigation does not involve the case against Jeffs’ brother, Seth Jeffs, who faces a federal charge of harboring fugitive Warren Jeffs from arrest, prosecutors wrote in a document filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for Colorado.
Prosecutors would not elaborate on the nature of the investigation involving the GPS, which was confiscated from Seth Jeffs’ vehicle when he was arrested on Oct. 28 in Pueblo, Colo.
Also seized were a laptop computer, cell phones, telephone calling cards and $142,000 in cash, which authorities said was earmarked for Warren Jeffs.
Warren Jeffs is president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, based in the twin towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz. The church adheres to early teachings of the Mormon church, including polygamy, which the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints abandoned as a condition of statehood in 1890.
Warren Jeffs, who dropped out of sight two years ago, is wanted on Arizona charges that he married a 16-year-old girl to an older, already married man. He also is wanted on a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution; the FBI has placed him on its Most Wanted list, and there is a $60,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.
Computers that are part of GPS systems have memory that can be searched to trace vehicle movements and destinations. Besides Hildale-Colorado City, the FLDS is known to have property in Mancos, Colo.; Eldorado, Texas; and Creston, British Columbia.
U.S. Magistrate Michael Watanabe in January authorized federal agents to search the GPS system. Seth Jeffs has filed a motion to suppress the government’s use of any information derived from that search. Prosecutors said in their filing that they do not anticipate using such information in Seth Jeffs’ case.
Seth Jeffs is to appear in the Denver court on Tuesday on pre-trial issues, including the GPS request.
We appreciate your support
Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission — at no additional cost to you — for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this service free of charge.