David Allred, thought to be a member and agent of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, purchased a 60-acre parcel at 15252 County Road 39 in Mancos last year for a corporate hunting retreat.
According to records examined at the Montezuma County Assessor’s office, a nearby 60 acres was sold Oct. 8 to Sherwood Management Group Inc. A deed of trust for that property, at 15976 County Road 39, is signed by David Allred and also lists him as the president of Sherwood Management, with a postal box address in Mesquite, Nev.
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Allred’s initial purchase came to local attention when he declined to let Deputy Assessor Scott Davis into buildings at the 15252 address. Doing so is not illegal, but Davis said that, along with Allred’s demeanor, prompted his suspicion.
The Sherwood Management property in Mancos went for considerably above market value – $725,000 for agricultural property situated next to public lands. Its assessed valuation, for tax purposes, was $156,900, with a possible market value of $200,000, Davis said last week.
His office also said last week that Sherwood Management secured a loan from the Jolujo Management Trust for $325,000, paying cash for the balance.
The deed of trust shows a Medford, N.Y., postal box address for Sherwood’s lender. A search by the Journal failed to turn up information about Jolujo Trust or a telephone number.
Calls to FLDS attorney Rod Parker were not returned.
The Journal was able to reach the Tucson home of James Bramble, who owns a 60-acre parcel between the Allred and Sherwood Management properties. A woman identifying herself as Bramble’s wife said her family did not want to be involved in the rumors swirling around the land purchases.
“He’s a very nice man,” she said of Allred. “They’re good neighbors. They watch our property when we’re not there.” She also said Allred has been victimized by unfair gossip.
Rumors surround the insular FLDS sect, which broke off from the traditional Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints more than 60 years ago.
Some members of the FLDS Church practice polygamy, which is not legal in Colorado and was disavowed by the Mormon church in 1890. There have also been allegations of sexual abuse, child sexual abuse and welfare fraud.
Montezuma County Sheriff Joey Chavez has said Allred had not violated any laws that he was aware of, and the church and its members have the constitutional right to purchase property.
Allred purchased the first parcel in July 2003 for $669,000, though the estimated market value sat at approximately $400,000.
Since the purchase, a hay shed on the property has reportedly been remodeled to include four bedrooms and four bathrooms, in addition to an extant three-bedroom residence.
The most recent concern voiced by such polygamy critics as Boulder author Jon Krakauer was that Mancos could become the next Eldorado – a small Texas town near where the FLDS Church last year began a community on 1,691 acres, for which Allred acted as purchasing agent – as a refuge for residents of the joint FLDS communities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz. The church also owns land in Bountiful, British Columbia.
The church’s leader Warren Jeffs, is being sought for three civil lawsuits.