Polygamist leader Lyle Jeffs escapes custody

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SALT LAKE CITY — Authorities say polygamous sect leader Lyle Jeffs has fled Salt Lake City, where he was supposed to be on home confinement pending trial on charges in a multimillion-dollar food stamp fraud scheme.

A U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman told KSTU a warrant was issued Monday for Jeffs after he took off over the weekend. No details were available about how he got loose.

After several previous requests were denied, Jeffs was let out of jail June 9 by U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart. He was ordered to wear a GPS monitor. In granting Jeffs’ release, Stewart cited the fact that the other 10 defendants already out have complied with the court’s conditions.

Prosecutors objected to his release, calling Jeffs a flight risk.

Jeffs’ attorney was not immediately available for comment.