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A seventh indicted member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is behind bars in connection with a federal food-stamp fraud case.
Nephi Steed Allred, 40, of Colorado City, Ariz., surrendered Thursday and was booked into the Washington County Jail.
Allred is one of 11 members of the polygamous sect who were charged Tuesday with conspiring to defraud the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Allred's first court appearance is scheduled for Friday in St. George.
With Allred in custody, seven of the indicted leaders and members of the FLDS church were in custody. However, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced that three of them were going to be released from Washington County Jail: Winford Johnson Barlow, Ruth Peine Barlow and Kristal Meldrum Dutson. They would be under supervised release, which includes GPS ankle monitors.
As of about 8 p.m. Thursday, jail staff confirmed that Winford Barlow, Ruth Barlow and Kristal Dutson were no longer in custody.
On Wednesday, FLDS leaders Lyle Jeffs, 56, and John Clifton Wayman, 56, pleaded not guilty to the two-count indictment. A hearing for Wayman, to determine if he will be jailed pending trial, is set for Friday. A similar hearing for Lyle Jeffs is set for March 7.
Prosecutors have filed a motion to detain Allred, Wayman, Jeffs and Jeffs' brother, Seth Jeffs, 42, citing an "elaborate" system for moving and hiding members of the group to avoid detection by law enforcement, which includes apartments and houses in the U.S., western Canada, Mexico and South America. The system was originally developed to protect Warren Jeffs (brother to Lyle and Seth) from prosecution, according to the motion.
The motion also requests "strict conditions" for the other indicted members' release.
Those indicted along with Lyle Jeffs, Seth Jeffs, Wayman and Allred, were Kimball Dee Barlow, 51, Winford Barlow, 50, Rulon Mormon Barlow, 45, Ruth Barlow, 41, Preston Yates Barlow, 41, Hyrum Bygnal Dutson, 55, and Kristal Dutson, 55.
Winford Barlow, Kristal Dutson and Ruth Barlow all pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a St. George courtroom. A hearing for Seth Jeffs in South Dakota was delayed until Monday, according to federal prosecutors.
The potential penalty for the conspiracy count is five years in prison. The money laundering count carries a potential penalty of 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors say church leaders ordered members to give their SNAP benefits in food and cash transfers to the church, which collects and redistributes commodities to the community. The leaders tell church members that they must obtain their food and household goods only through the church, the indictment alleges.