According to local news, federal agents with a search warrant have overgrown a home in Arizona with known ties to the polygamous fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sect.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation reportedly dispatched agents from its Phoenix office Tuesday to execute a search warrant for property in Colorado City that residents said belonged to 46-year-old Samuel Rappylee Bateman. St. reported.
Social media videos posted on the Internet showed police vehicles outside the home and a policeman directing residents with a megaphone to go outside.
“I can confirm that the FBI today has personnel in Colorado City conducting court-authorized law enforcement activities,” a spokesman for the Phoenix office of the FBI told FOX 13 News.
Local news reports said there had been several raids on the property, which started around 10:45 AM on Tuesday.
The news of the raid comes just two weeks after Mr. Bateman, who heads the FLDS sect of broken religion in Colorado City, was arrested by authorities after being accused of transporting young girls in a locked cargo trailer to Phoenix.
A police report, obtained by Fox News 13, describes how Mr. Bateman was arrested near Flagstaff after they received multiple calls from people who saw a man at a nearby gas station with children in a locked cargo trailer.
When Arizona Highway Patrol officers were dragging the 46-year-old, they found two girls in a pickup truck with a man and three more girls between the ages of 11 and 15 in a trailer that was locked from the outside and reportedly lacking ventilation, lighting, or a “restraining space” .
The man explained that he was traveling to the Phoenix area with girls, neither of whom were his children, the officers wrote. When asked by authorities, the girls reportedly “all said they were going somewhere in Phoenix or Tucson, but didn’t [sic] know the length of time or the purpose of the journey. “
Police called one of the mothers of two girls traveling with Mr. Bateman and reportedly told them that “under the circumstances, I don’t mind that my daughters are there if they stay together” Fox News 13 reported.
According to documents, the 46-year-old was placed in Coconino County Jail on child abuse charges.
Independent he contacted the FBI office in Arizona to comment on the raids in Colorado City on Tuesday, but received no immediate response.