Law enforcers swoop down on Colorado City, Ariz.

Associated Press in Daily Herald (Provo, UT)/July 10, 2005

Colorado City, Ariz. -- Residents of this polygamous town turned out for a public forum organized by the attorneys general for Utah and Arizona -- but the real action came after the meeting.

A half-dozen sheriff's cruisers and a helicopter carrying Arizona Department of Public Safety officers descended on Colorado City Friday as part of an investigation into the fundamentalist church that also rules the border town of Hildale, Utah.

The Mohave County, Ariz., sheriff's office confirmed their arrival was part of an investigation into church dealings but refused to release details until later this week.

About 80 people showed up for Friday's forum on the court-ordered takeover of the United Effort Plan, the trust once controlled by Warren Steed Jeffs, president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Reporters weren't allowed inside.

Jeffs was indicted by a Mohave County grand jury last month on charges of arranging a marriage between a teenage girl and a 28-year-old man who already had one wife.

It was revealed Saturday that the FBI joined the search for Jeffs, a fugitive who hasn't been seen in public in nearly two years. The FBI has added a charge of unlawful flight against the church leader.

Utah Assistant Attorney General Tom Bodily said Friday's meeting was meant to clear up confusion about the takeover of the United Effort Plan. He said new trustees are expected to be appointed July 21 but that it could take a year "to fully resolve the issues."

Residents wanted to know how officials were choosing new trustees and whether beneficiaries would include people who contributed to the trust but have since moved out of the towns. Bodily said he couldn't immediately answer those questions.

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