FLDS purchases land in Mancos

Cortez Journal (CO)/January 1, 2005
By John R. Crane

In October, the Journal learned that a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bought two swaths of land in Mancos, prompting rumors of polygamy and warnings from a well-known author of a book about the radical Mormon sect.

The Montezuma County Assessor's office confirmed in late October that David Allred of Utah purchased 60 acres of land on block 15252 of County Road 39 in July 2003, several miles north of Joe Moore Reservoir. But a few days later, an additional 60 acres were confirmed to have been purchased Oct. 8 by Sherwood Management Group Inc., of which Allred is president. A deed of trust for the property at 15976 County Road 39 is signed by Allred.

Though Scott Davis, county deputy assessor, was not allowed inside any buildings on the property, Montezuma County Sheriff Joey Chavez said there was no reason to investigate the owner for criminal activity.

But Jon Krakauer, author of the FLDS expose´ "Under the Banner of Heaven," compared the sect's "prophet," Warren Jeffs, to a ruthless monarch and said he was a force to be reckoned with.

"He's like Richard III, like something out of a Shakespeare play," Krakauer told the Journal in October . "You guys down there should be worried...He has thousands of followers who would die for him. He would never deign to be brought before a Gentile judge."

The FLDS Church was founded more than 60 years ago along the Utah-Arizona border, and also has land in Bountiful, Canada, near the Idaho border, and owns a 1,691-acre ranch near Eldorado, Texas, where another community is being built.

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