Grand Marais land tied to polygamy sect, Warren Jeffs is for sale

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DULUTH — Forty wooded acres of Grand Marais land owned by a business connected to a controversial religious faction is for sale.

To the dismay of area residents, the land, listed for $189,000, has for several years been owned by Seth Jeffs, behind the entity Emerald Industries LLC, registered in Montana.

Jeffs was convicted in 2006 of concealing his brother, Warren Steed Jeffs, who was sentenced in 2011 to life in prison for sexually abusing underage members of his church, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints [FLDS]. In 2016, Seth Jeffs pleaded guilty to food stamp fraud in connection with a federal investigation into diverting benefits to church members.

The religious sect separated from Mormonism after the church renounced polygamy. Seth and Warren Jeffs’ father, Rulon Jeffs, held a leadership role in the FLDS church for many years, as did Warren Jeffs.

Cook County resident Becca said that a detective and someone from a nonprofit that helped find missing children visited the area when the purchase was first made, educating residents about the church and its history and beliefs.

Becca, who asked that her last name not be used because she feared retaliation by the FLDS church, said, “There was quite an alarm set off within the community.”

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