FBI pays tipsters $50,000 for Lyle Jeffs’ arrest

Lyle Jeffs | Booking photo courtesy of Tooele County Sheriff's Office, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The FBI has paid out a $50,000 reward to two people who provided information that led to the arrest of Lyle Jeffs on June 14, ending a nearly year-long search for the fugitive.

The reward money was divided proportionally between the two unnamed tipsters, based on their level of assistance, the FBI said Monday.

Jeffs, 57, believed to be a leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was on pretrial release awaiting trial on food stamp fraud charges when he fled from home confinement in Salt Lake City on June 18, 2016.

His run came to an end in June when two men spotted Jeffs pawning tools at a business in Yankton, South Dakota, according to the FBI. One of them spotted Jeffs a second time on June 13 and became suspicious, partly because Jeffs was wearing layers of clothing, a hat and sunglasses indoors.

The tipster thought to note the partial license plate of the silver, late-model Ford F-150 Jeffs was driving. That information was given to law enforcement and triggered an extensive search in the area, the FBI said.

Read more: FBI officials release details about Lyle Jeffs’ capture

The next day, Yankton Police Lt. Todd Brandt spotted the vehicle at the Lewis and Clark Marina in Yankton while off-duty. Officers subsequently conducted a traffic stop, and the driver admitted to being Lyle Jeffs.

This case highlights the importance of reporting anything suspicious, no matter how insignificant it may seem,” FBI Salt Lake City Assistant Special Agent in Charge Dan Brady said. “In this case, the tipsters were observant and acted on instinct. There is no doubt their involvement led to Jeffs’ quick arrest.”

A 10-day trial for Jeffs has been set to begin Sept. 18 before U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart.

Jeffs was indicted in February 2016, along with 10 other FLDS members with conspiracy to defraud the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and conspiracy to launder money.

After his arrest in South Dakota, Jeffs was indicted with an additional count of failure to appear in court.

“The FBI has always relied on cooperation from the public to help capture fugitives and solve crimes,” the FBI said. “Tips, as evident in this case, can be invaluable to our investigations.”

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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  • ladybugavenger July 31, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Good job. They deserve $50,000 each, but $25,000 each is a nice chunk of change. Probably more than a years worth of pay.

  • Utahguns July 31, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Take a good look at Jeff’s picture at the top of this article.
    Now, doesn’t that look like a prophet?

    • comments July 31, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      There isn’t a high standard to become a mormon prophet. On a positive not I’ve not heard of Lyle being a serial rapist of little girls. But that particular mormon sect still prefers warren. Some things about mormonism I’ll never understand. Then again I’m not into mysticism or nuttery of any kind, so it’s all very foreign to me.

  • hiker75 July 31, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Orange is a great color for him. I hope he wears it for many years.

  • youcandoit July 31, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    It is definitely a small world I’m from Yankton SD. I’ve been living in St George Utah for 18 yrs now. I’m glad they caught him.

  • riccie July 31, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    How come they haven’t listed who the pickup was registered to and also who owns it? A little more history would be exciting.

  • Real Life July 31, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    I would have turned the pedophile “prophet” in for 50 cents.

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