The brother of elusive polygamist leader Warren Jeffs was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of harboring and concealing a fugitive, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The one-count indictment against Seth Steed Jeffs, 32, of Hildale, was returned late Tuesday, and an arraignment is scheduled for today in U.S. District Court in Denver. He is currently free on a $25,000 property bond.

Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver, said the indictment formalizes criminal charges brought against Seth Jeffs on Oct. 31 for allegedly hiding his brother from arrest and aiding and abetting him.

According to the affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, Seth Jeffs was arrested Oct. 28 after officials received a report of a suspected intoxicated driver on I-25 in southern Colorado. The driver of the vehicle, Nathaniel Steed Allred, admitted to deputies that he was hired by Seth Jeffs for sexual companionship. Both were taken into custody on state prostitution related charges, Dorschner said.

Search warrants revealed that Seth Jeffs was in possession of nearly $142,000 in cash, $7,000 in prepaid debit and phone cards and numerous documents and envelopes addressed to "the prophet" or "Warren Jeffs." He told officers he didn't know where his brother was.

Warren Jeffs is the leader of a polygamous sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a group that separated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the early part of the 20th century.

Warren Jeffs remains a fugitive and has outstanding arrest warrants, including charges issued in Arizona in June of arranging a marriage between a 16-year-old and a married man and an additional charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, added by the FBI.

If convicted, Seth Jeffs faces up to five years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine.


Contributing: Associated Press

E-mail: wleonard@desnews.com