More criminal investigations could be coming to FLDS towns

Posted at 9:49 PM, Aug 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-31 23:49:29-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Attorney General's Office said it has received new complaints alleging criminal activity in the FLDS border towns of Hildale and Colorado City.

In an interview with FOX 13 News, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said his office was investigating but declined to say what they focused on.

"I'm not commenting on any of our investigations," he said. "We are looking at a number of issues... and other complaints that have recently surfaced on our side of the twin cities."

The attorney general has confirmed an ongoing criminal investigation into ex-FLDS leader Winston Blackmore. FOX 13 News reported in March that Blackmore admitted under oath in a deposition to marrying underage girls in Utah.

Blackmore was recently charged in Canada with polygamy.

"We're aware of the charges internationally and we'll just continue to cooperate with law enforcement," Reyes told FOX 13 News. "We are monitoring, but I can't say any more because it is an active investigation."

Reyes recently has begun ratcheting up his administration's involvement in the troubles plaguing the polygamous border towns. He recently made an unannounced visit to a school in Hildale that had been closed for a decade after FLDS leader Warren Jeffs received a "revelation" and students were removed.

Jeffs, who is serving a life-plus-20-year sentence for child sex assault related to underage marriages, still maintains tight control of the towns from prison. Reyes recently joined with Arizona's attorney general in asking that the Colorado City Town Marshal's Office be dismantled, alleging they are more loyal to Jeffs than the people they are sworn to protect.

He has also sought to reduce the state's control over the United Effort Plan Trust (UEP) which controls most of the property in the towns. The courts took control of the UEP in 2005 over allegations that Jeffs and other FLDS leaders mismanaged it.

"My preference would be the state not be in charge of managing the UEP," Reyes said. "That's why I asked the judge for a board of trustees from representatives of the community."