FLDS compound ‘a black cloud’ on District 30

The FLDS compound in Pringle, S.D. is set for a Sheriff’s Auction on February 25
Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 6:52 PM CST
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PRINGLE, S.D. (KOTA) - A judge is ordering land owned by a fundamentalist, polygamist Mormon group to be sold.

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is linked to a man, Warren Jeffs, who is serving a life sentence in prison for the sexual assaults of children. Jeffs claimed these children were his brides.

The FLDS owns a 140 acre compound near Pringle in Custer County, where some of Jeffs’ followers still live.

The land is set to be sold at a Sheriff’s Auction on February 25 because of a federal court judgment against the group, dating back to 2016.

Seventh Circuit Court Judge Matt Brown entered a default judgment when the church failed to show up for a hearing here earlier this month, when the plaintiffs in that case tried to collect that judgment.

The interest on that judgment has grown to about $1.7 million.

Authorities say the compound is led by Seth Jeffs, Warren’s brother.

Custer County Sheriff Marty Mechaley said he believes there are about 20 people still at the compound.

Tim Goodwin is the State Representative for District 30, where the compound is located. He claims the group is starting to break apart and is “a black cloud” on his district.

“It’s starting to fracture, and we’ve seen it fracture for a long time now,” said Goodwin. “And the Sheriff down in Custer County has done a great job coordinating with them and doing everything.”

Goodwin said the property is appraised at $7 million. Goodwin claims Warren Jeffs still runs the compound from a prison cell.

One Custer County woman said something like this was “just a matter of time.”

“I know that when I heard about it, I was shocked,” said Debbie G., a Custer County business owner. “But, then again, I wasn’t because I knew a lot was going on at that compound that I had heard rumors.”

The FLDS is an offshoot of Mormonism that practices polygamy.

While polygamy was an early teaching of the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the practice of men taking multiple wives is banned today.

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