The U.S. government paid more than $1.7 million in defense contracts over the last decade to companies owned by leaders of Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect, with tens of thousands allegedly winding its way back to Jeffs and his church.
In fact, some of the deals were made after Jeffs was named to the FBI's "Most-Wanted List" and remained in place while he was on the run.
CNN has learned that between 1998 and 2007, the United States Air Force and Defense Logistics Agency purchased more than $1.7 million worth of airplane parts from three companies owned by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which practices polygamy.
Those companies are Utah Tool and Die, Western Precision and NewEra Manufacturing. Today, the companies all operate under the name NewEra Manufacturing, a company based in Las Vegas, Nevada, that says it supplies precision components "for the aerospace, military, medical, recreational and other commercial entities."
"It was my understanding that Western Precision was paying roughly $50,000 a week into the coffers of the church," former sect member Richard Holm said. "It would have been close to $200,000 a month." Read full article »