Polygamous sect leader pleads guilty in escape, fraud cases

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A polygamous sect leader recaptured after a year on the run has pleaded guilty in an escape and food-stamp fraud cases.

Lyle Jeffs pleaded guilty today in federal court in Salt Lake City. He was charged in what prosecutors call a multimillion-dollar food-stamp fraud scheme as well as his escape from home confinement.

Jeffs was awaiting trial in the food-stamp case when he slipped off his ankle monitor and escaped in June 2016.

He was recaptured in South Dakota this summer after pawning two pairs of pliers while apparently living out of his pickup truck. Pawn-shop workers tipped off the FBI, and he was arrested in a lakeside area near the South Dakota-Nebraska border.

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