The identity of the fifth man being held in a federal prison after allegedly refusing to testify before a federal grand jury in Arizona has been identified.
Leroy Jeffs, the older brother of Warren Jeffs, the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is among four FLDS members who have been jailed in the Central Arizona Detention Center in Florence. All are refusing to testify before a grand jury probing the polygamous sect in southern Utah.
Once the lead accountant for the FLDS church, Leroy Jeffs was privy to details about the secretive church, including its property holdings, tithing information and detailed records of illegal plural marriages that occurred among the faith’s estimated 10,000 members in the border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., a former church member said.
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”I would say if anybody knew, Leroy knew,” said Richard Holm, an excommunicated church member who continues to live in Hildale. ”He would also know more about Warren’s motives than anybody else.”
Since April 18, Leroy Jeffs has been sitting in the Florence facility, prison officials said Friday.
It could not immediately be determined if Leroy Jeffs has a lawyer.
Earlier this year, authorities located Leroy Jeffs living in Oklahoma and served him with a grand jury subpoena. But he refused to testify and was arrested on civil contempt of court charges, sources familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press.
Ann Harwood, spokeswoman for the U.S. district attorney for Arizona, said she could not confirm information about Leroy Jeffs, or anyone that may be connected to a grand jury investigation, because those proceedings are secret.
It is widely known, however, that federal officials first served grand jury subpoenas in January during an FLDS meeting. It is unknown how many people have been served or what the scope of the investigation might be.
The Tribune reported Friday the names of the FLDS members being held at the Florence facility. They are Samuel K. Allred, Leroy B. Timpson, James R. Allred and Mica Barlow.
Leroy Jeffs was reportedly sent to Oklahoma to ”repent” last year after Warren Jeffs kicked him out of the church and reassigned Leroy’s wives and children to other men.
Leroy Jeffs is the eldest son of Rulon Jeffs and his fourth wife, Marilyn Steed.
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