Polygamist Cult Operates Farm In Nevada

Associated Press/February 23, 2006

Salt Lake City -- A large hay farm is being operated 30 miles north of Pioche, Nevada, by followers of the fugitive leader of a polygamist cult.

Investigators are trying to determine if farm equipment and even buildings were illegally moved to the farm from the cult's largest enclave which is on the Utah-Arizona border.

The Nevada operation, known as Atlanta Farms, was launched with the approval and direction of fugitive Warren Jeffs, according to a local television news station.

Harker was president of Harker Farms in Beryl until Jeffs ousted him from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

After he was kicked out, Harker's close relatives expanded Harker Farms into Nevada. They leased thousands of acres and have been operating it as an alfalfa hay farm for about two years.

Private investigator Sam Brower said those operating Atlanta Farms are longtime FLDS members who are zealously loyal to Warren Jeffs.

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