Officials work to redistribute land controlled by Jeffs-led sect

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

COLORADO CITY, Ariz. -- It has been a busy couple of weeks in the sordid and ongoing saga of polygamous prophet Warren Jeffs and his FLDS church.

Earlier the week, law officers in Texas took the first steps toward seizing Jeffs' sprawling, 1700 acre, gated compound in West Texas, alleging the property is part of a extensive and complex "criminal enterprise."

On Friday night, a town meeting was held in Colorado City by Utah's Attorney General, focusing on FLDS land along the Utah-Arizona border.

That land is currently under the jurisdiction of a Utah judge, and at the town meeting a couple of hundred people discussed various proposals to get that land in the hands of people -- be they FLDS or non-FLDS -- who have legitimate claims to the land.

For years Warren Jeffs has used his control of the land as a powerful extortion tool, evicting and excommunicating anyone who displeases him or disobeys his edicts.

And for his part, Jeffs has also been busy in recent days, issuing a new round of bizarre edicts and directives and doomsday prophecies from his prison cell in Texas where he is serving a life sentence for raping two underage girls at his Texas gulag.

"Never know what Warren Jeffs is going to tell his followers," said Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan.

Because of a long history of abuse and malfeasance on the part of the FLDS-controlled Town Marshal's Office, Sheahan and his deputies took over law enforcement duties in Colorado City several months ago.

Sheahan acknowledges that tensions are high along the border these days.

"We are concerned, but we have people ready to go at any time," said Sheahan.

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