Cult leader Orson William Black Jr arrested after triple murder

The polygamist also faces animal cruelty charges, as dozens of butchered and frozen zebra and buffalo were found where he lived.

Sky News/November 6, 2017

By Tom Acres

A polygamist and suspected cult leader wanted on paedophile charges has been arrested as part of a triple murder investigation.

US national Orson William Black Jr was detained in the Mexican border state of Chihuahua over the weekend, alongside his four wives and 22 other Americans, including some minors.

Approximately 100 police officers descended on the "El Negro" ranch on Friday and Saturday as part of a joint operation with the FBI following the murder of three young Americans in the same region.

Two teenagers aged 15 and 19, as well as a 23-year-old man, were killed on 10 September.

The Chihuahua State Attorney General's Office said that the US Consulate became involved in the investigation when it became apparent that the victims did not have birth certificates - but they have since been identified as Michael Black, Robert W Black and Jesse L Black.

Black Jr, a 56-year-old who is also known as Larry William Black, is a suspect but has not yet been charged.

For now, he and the others arrested at the ranch face charges of entering Mexico illegally and animal cruelty.

More than 50 butchered and frozen animals were found across five properties - including zebra, buffalo and a lion.

A number of vehicles were seized during the raid, including vans and motorcycles sporting both US and Mexican licence plates, and witnesses also saw officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration at the scene.

Black Jr, who allegedly leads a sect named "La Comuna", also faces human trafficking charges and has faced paedophilia charges in the US state of Arizona since 2003.

He has been accused of unlawful sex with teenage girls who later became his wives.

Prosecutors said: "He has been wanted in the United States for 15 years on sex crimes charges and fled to Mexico."

In 2006, Black Jr was featured on the then popular US TV show America's Most Wanted.

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