SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 31, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — The FBI Salt Lake City Division has paid out the $50,000 reward to two men who provided information that led to the arrest of Lyle Jeffs, ending a nearly year-long search for the fugitive.
“The money was divided proportionally between the recipients, based on
their level of assistance,” said a statement released Monday by the FBI Salt Lake City Division. “We are not naming them to protect their privacy.”
Jeffs, a bishop in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), was on pre-trial release awaiting trial on food stamp fraud charges, when he fled from home confinement in Salt Lake City, on or about June 18, 2016.
In early June, 2017, two men spotted Jeffs pawning tools at a Yankton, South Dakota
business. On June 13, 2017, one of them spotted Jeffs a second time and became suspicious, partly because Jeffs was wearing layers of clothing, a hat and sunglasses, indoors, the FBI SLC statement says.
The tipster thought to note the partial license plate of the vehicle Jeffs was driving. That solid information provided to law enforcement triggered an extensive search in the area.
The next day, Yankton Police Lt. Todd Brandt, while off-duty, spotted the vehicle, a
silver, late model Ford F-150, at the Lewis and Clark Marina in Yankton. Officers subsequently conducted a traffic stop and the driver admitted to being Jeffs.
“This case highlights the importance of reporting anything suspicious, no matter how
insignificant it may seem,” said Dan Brady, FBI Salt Lake City assistant special agent in charge. “In this case, the tipsters were observant and acted on instinct. There is no doubt their involvement led to Jeffs’ quick arrest.”