Wichita Falls native Greg Abbott today announced he is initiating legal action to seize the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints ranch in Texas where leader Warren Jeffs and sect members sexually assaulted children.
Wichita Falls Child Protective Services officials and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers from the Wichita Falls office participated in a raid under the spotlight of the national news media when they seized children and evidence in 2008.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office, under the direction of Abbott, filed legal proceedings today to seize the Yearning For Zion Ranch, a 1,600 acre property in the oil country of West Texas where several children were sexually assaulted by members of the FLDS.
The final chapter now begins in the five-year effort to pursue justice involving the widespread criminal misconduct at the YFZ Ranch.
A 91-page affidavit was filed today with the 51st State District Court along with a search and seizure warrant by Abbott, the Texas Attorney General.
In the affidavit, a law enforcement officer with the Attorney General’s Office describes how proceeds from illegal activities were used to purchase the ranch. FLDS leaders including Jeffs bought the land in a remote area where they attempted to insulate themselves from criminal prosecution for sexually assaulting children.
According to the affidavit, the YFZ Ranch was purchased on the orders of Warren Jeffs, who is currently serving a life sentence for sexually assaulting a female child. Jeffs was at the top of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List when he was arrested on the criminal charges.
The State has successfully prosecuted nine FLDS members including Jeffs for sexually assaulting children in the remote compound.
The FLDS members allegedly purchased the land and constructed the massive compound with the proceeds from illegal money laundering.
FLDS members also allegedly used the Ranch to harbor Jeffs when he was a fugitive on the FBI’s Most Wanted List.
Under Texas law, law enforcement can seize property that was used to commit criminal conduct.
At a later date a hearing will be held by the 51st District Court where the FLDS will be given an opportunity to oppose the seizure and present evidence in support of its case.
Anyone interested in receiving free notice of future Wichita Falls Law Enforcement and Public Safety articles may click on the subscribe link above this article.