Speed Reads

Crime and punishment

Texas property owned by polygamist group FLDS seized by state

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Almost six years after FBI agents stormed the Yearning for Zion Ranch near Eldorado, Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety said its agents took possession of the compound on Thursday.

The ranch was once home to Warren Jeffs and his followers in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but when authorities arrived at the secluded property, they discovered just eight adults living there. All agreed to leave.

The ranch was raided in April of 2008 following allegations that underage girls were being forced into polygamous marriages. According to The Associated Press, 439 children were taken into protective custody. Jeffs is now serving a life term in prison after being convicted of sexually assaulting two girls the group considered to be his wives.

Earlier this year, the state alleged that FLDS leaders financed the $1.1 million purchase of the land in 2003 through money laundering. The AP reports that because there were also sexual assaults committed on the property, under Texas law authorities can confiscate property used to perpetrate or facilitate certain criminal conduct. A judge agreed, and ordered the forfeiture of the property, seen below, in January. --Catherine Garcia