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Former Army special forces soldier secretly trained an armed Utah polygamous squad. Was it a militia?

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Posted at 9:55 AM, Mar 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-10 11:55:23-04

Mount Pleasant • Jesse Raynor needed two more copies of the U.S. Army Ranger Handbook.

As quartermaster, he was responsible for making sure the men in his Mount Pleasant unit, which had been dubbed the Priesthood Protection Team, or PPT, were properly outfitted. Raynor had Microsoft Excel spreadsheets showing who had AR-15s, Kevlar helmets and vests, first aid kits and even how cold of a temperature each man’s sleeping bag could withstand. Now, on Nov. 17, 2011, Raynor was trying to ensure the last two guys in the PPT had handbooks. The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

“Can you do two more Ranger Handbooks?” Raynor emailed Scott Mangels, the former U.S. Army special forces soldier who was training the unit. “Let me know and I can pay online again. Also, let me know what it would cost to buy the water filtration systems you showed us. Thanks!”

Almost 7½ years later, Raynor contends the PPT was a militia whose purpose was to defend members of the Apostolic United Brethren, also known as the Allred Group. It’s a polygamous sect with enclaves across the American West.

To read the article in its entirety, click here.