Warren Jeffs apprehended

Traffic stop results in the arrest of polygamist church leader near Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The fugitive leader of a polygamist Mormon sect has been arrested in southern Nevada, the FBI said today.

Warren Steed Jeffs, 50, was taken into custody after he and two other people were pulled over late Monday by a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper on Interstate 15 just north of Las Vegas, FBI spokesman David Staretz said.

The other two people in the vehicle were identified as one of Warren Jeffs' wives, Naomi Jeffs, and a brother, Isaac Steve Jeffs, both 32, Staretz said. They were being interviewed this morning by the FBI in Las Vegas, but were not arrested.

Jeffs was being held in federal custody in Las Vegas pending a court hearing on a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, Staretz said. It was not immediately clear if Jeffs would face extradition to Arizona or Utah.

The traffic stop came about 9 p.m., after the NHP trooper noticed a red Cadillac Escalade on the freeway with temporary license tags, Staretz said.

Jeffs, the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was indicted in June 2005 on an Arizona charge of arranging a marriage between a 16-year-old girl and a married man, and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

He is also charged in Utah with two felony counts of rape as an accomplice, for allegedly arranging the marriage of a teenage girl to an older man in Nevada.

Jeffs has been on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list since May, with a $100,000 reward offered for information leading to his capture.

The FLDS Church, which embraces polygamy, split from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when the mainstream Mormon Church disavowed plural marriage more than 100 years ago.