ELDORADO, Texas — Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs and two followers are the latest to be indicted by a grand jury here on bigamy charges, accusing them of polygamous marriages.

The indictments were unsealed after Raymond Merril Jessop, 36, and Michael George Emack, 57, surrendered to authorities at the Schleicher County Sheriff's Office on Friday afternoon. They were booked and released after each posted $10,000 bond.

"Of course, Warren's in jail," Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran told the Deseret News after the arrests were made. "But they were able to post bond immediately. Everything was cooperative."

Jeffs, 52, is in an Arizona jail where he is awaiting trial on sexual misconduct charges accusing him of performing underage marriages. The FLDS leader was convicted in Utah of rape as an accomplice and sentenced to a pair of 5-to-life sentences for performing a marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin.

"We received a detainer, which notifies us of his warrant status," said Trish Carter, a spokeswoman for the Mohave County Sheriff's Office in Kingman, Ariz., where Jeffs is jailed.

Texas authorities have said they will seek to extradite Jeffs to face charges.

Details of the latest indictments, which were handed up on Thursday, were not released, but it is apparent it stems from polygamous marriages within the Utah-based sect. All three men were indicted last month on sexual- assault charges by the same grand jury investigating crimes within the FLDS Church, accusing them of sex with underage girls.

Six men have been indicted in total, including Allan Eugene Keate, 56, and Merril Leroy Jessop, 33, who was also indicted on sexual assault and bigamy charges.

FLDS community physician Dr. Lloyd Hammon Barlow, 38, was indicted on misdemeanor charges of failure to report child abuse. Barlow's charges will be handled in county court, said Schleicher County Attorney Raymond Loomis.

The criminal cases stem from the April raid on the FLDS Church's YFZ Ranch near here. Acting on a call from someone claiming to be a pregnant 16-year-old trapped in an abusive marriage to an older man, Texas child welfare authorities and law enforcement went to the ranch.

The call is believed to be a hoax, but authorities said that on site, they saw evidence of other abuses. That prompted a judge to order the removal of hundreds of FLDS children. The children were returned home a couple of months later after two Texas courts ruled the state acted improperly and the children were not in any immediate danger.


E-MAIL: [email protected]