Few FLDS members remain in Eldorado

Group’s presence barely visible 4 years after raid

ELDORADO, Texas - It has been more than four years since lawmen raided the Yearning for Zion Ranch outside this West Texas town.

More than 400 children were taken into the custody of state officials following allegations of sexual abuse.

All were children of members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The church’s compound is on a several hundred-acre tract of land a few miles outside of town.

It now shows little signs of activity.

“I fly over their compound every week to see what’s going on because we really can’t trust those people,” said Schleicher County Judge James Doyle.

He said the town has always viewed the group with skepticism.

In August 2011 Warren Jeffs, the group’s spiritual leader, was convicted of sexually assaulting teenage girls who were members of the church.

He claimed they were his "spiritual brides."

Jeffs has been sentenced to life in prison.

Since the raid and Jeffs’ conviction, there are now only a small handful of his followers in Eldorado.

“As it stands now, their presence is just kind of behind the scenes,” said Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran. “They’re not a strong presence here.”

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