Criminal probe ongoing into Warren Jeffs polygamous sects

Warren Jeffs

Horne fought last year for a bill in the Arizona Legislature aimed at abolishing the Marshal's Office in Colorado City, and replacing law enforcement there with deputies from the Mohave County Sheriff's Office. It failed to pass, so he allocated funds to provide for limited patrols by deputies but says the money will soon run out, and he is again asking the Legislature to take up the bill.

Horne was joined at Tuesday's news conference by Flora Jessop, a vocal critic of the FLDS who fled the church in 1986. She was flanked by her sister, Ruby Jessop, and the woman's six young children.

Flora Jessop said her sister, who did not speak Tuesday, had been held captive by the FLDS for years, undergoing sexual and mental abuse at the hands of her husband while not being allowed to leave with her kids. Ruby Jessop finally fled last year, and recently won temporary custody of her children who were being held ``hostage'' by the sect, Flora Jessop said.

"It's a good day for freedom, she said. Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan said his agency also is involved in a criminal investigation of the FLDS and the Marshal's Office.

He described authorities there as ``security guards for the FLDS church.''

"They are corrupt and work only for the FLDS and Warren Jeffs,'' Sheahan said.

He said it's a dangerous situation for his deputies to be patrolling Colorado City without the cooperation of local law enforcement from the Marshal's Office.

"They are not our allies,'' Sheahan said. ``I wouldn't trust them as backup for our deputies."Another attorney who represents Colorado City called the allegations outlandish, and said the Marshal's Office works well with Mohave County deputies.

"The Marshal's Office welcomes the presence of the sheriff's deputies because it provides them with backup,'' said lawyer Jeff Matura. ``The more police service, the better protection for everyone.''

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