Colorado City police chief admits corruption; AG calls for disbandment of FLDS marshals

COLORADO CITY, Arizona – This month, the ax of justice is swinging over the border towns of Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah.

Last week, a Utah judge declared her desire to begin evicting nonpaying residents living on United Effort Plan trust properties in the area, commonly known to locals as “Short Creek” and primarily populated by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This week, the Arizona attorney general has asked a federal judge to disband the Short Creek community’s police force due to allegations that officers have discriminated against residents who are not FLDS, have impeded the efforts of outside investigating agencies, have doctored official records and have, in essence, been loyal to FLDS leaders above the law.

Tuesday, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, who has in the past declared that monitoring the FLDS community in Colorado City is one of his office’s highest priorities, announced the filing of a proposed form of judgment in the U.S. District Court that seeks, among other things, the disbandment of the Marshal’s Office in Colorado City and Hildale and the appointment of a federal monitor to oversee municipal functions in the community.

“The disbandment of the Colorado City/Hildale Marshal’s Office is necessary and appropriate because this police department has operated for decades, and continues to operate, as the de facto law enforcement arm of the FLDS Church,” Horne said, as quoted in a press release from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. “We have introduced legislation for the past three years to transfer law enforcement to the Mohave County sheriff and unfortunately it has failed to pass.”

“Testimony in support of this legislation,” Horne continued, “shows that when girls have tried to escape from the town, the Marshalls forced them back, and committed many other injustices. When the legislation failed, I found $400,000 per year to transfer to the Mohave County sheriff, to have at least one sheriff in Colorado City. As a result, girls have escaped who said they couldn’t have without the sheriff there.”

In an April deposition, Colorado City Chief of Police Helaman Barlow detailed corruption in the Marshal’s Office and admitted under oath that he had personally lied multiple times on the stand during his testimony in the case of Cooke v. Colorado City. Residents Ronald and Jinjer Cooke recently sued the town for discrimination, saying they had been denied utility services because they were not FLDS members and because Ronald Cooke has a disability, according to court documents. The Cookes were awarded $5.2 million in March when a jury found that Hildale and Colorado City had been denying them utility access for years.

In exchange for immunity, Barlow, who is reportedly no longer an FLDS member, not only confessed to lying during the trial but admitted the FLDS Church controls the Marshal’s Office in Colorado City and Hildale and that marshals act in favor of FLDS members and cause harm to nonmembers.

Among statements Barlow made in his deposition, he admitted to secretly recording meetings with federal and Texas investigators while FLDS Church leader Warren Jeffs was a fugitive, then enabling the tapes to be delivered to Jeffs, who was in hiding at the time but has since been imprisoned for child sexual abuse of underage girls he had taken as brides.

Barlow further admitted that law enforcement officers in Colorado City/Hildale have blockaded the efforts of outside agencies by alerting community members when they were about to be served warrants or subpoenas, so they could avoid officers attempting to serve the documents.

Barlow additionally admitted to looking the other way when FLDS members, including a deputy in the Marshal’s Office, have taken underage brides. He also stated that Mohave County Sheriff’s deputies have had to repeatedly stop law enforcement officers in the community from arresting non-FLDS members without probable cause and that Colorado City manager David Darger has altered numerous police reports, including altering a report that caused detriment to the subject, who was a non-FLDS member.

“My office will not tolerate corrupt law enforcement agencies in this State, and the disbandment of what is perhaps the most corrupt police department in the history of this State will go a long way toward protecting the public from further discrimination and harm in these communities,” Horne said.

The judgment filed by Horne’s office Tuesday provides for full law enforcement responsibility, authority and police dispatch services within Colorado City and Hildale to be transferred to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Department and the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, with all expenses to be paid by Colorado City and Hildale.

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  • Robb Willie June 19, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Good. Shut ’em down. Welfare cheats and child molesters. Then the old goats run the young men out of town, so as to not have them competing for the attention of the young girls. Those boys end up in St. George and go nuts with the sudden and complete freedom they were never prepared for, growing up under the total control of the FLDS leaders. Then good people and the social services get burdened with these otherwise pretty good kids, going crazy with booze and drugs.

  • Religion June 19, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    What you find in Colorado City and Hildale is probably typical where you have a dominant religious element controlling everything. I suspect towns and cities throughout Utah have a similar degree of corruption due to a domineering and controlling religious environment. Why do people allow themselves to be controlled by religion to the point of allowing corrupt people to rule supreme?

  • SECRET POLICE June 19, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    I bet corruption exists in towns where the mormon religion dominates everything.

    • M1b5g June 19, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      The Mormon religion has nothing to do with what is going on in Hilldale and Colorado City; they are not the same organization at all. The Mormon religion is world wide, probably in your town too, and doesn’t condone any of the behaviors of the FLDS group. Pretty sad in this day and age that people are still so clueless about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and its members.

      • Jan June 19, 2014 at 7:44 pm

        The Mormon religion has everything to do with what goes on down there! It is their founder, Joe Smith and his “revelation” of polygamy that still dominates these peoples lives and souls. If you want to know more about your Mormon religion and it’s ungodly roots, I encourage you to start seeking and not hiding from the Truth, the Life, and the Way! He is not the same Jesus of Mormonism.

      • SECRET POLICE June 19, 2014 at 9:12 pm

        Mormons have long ignored or condoned the activities in Hildale and Colorado City. Maybe it’s because they are also anti-government and anti-American and support that bleed the beast mindset. Bring down the government and let religion rule supreme and trod on everyone’s freedoms.

      • D Hodja June 19, 2014 at 9:54 pm

        You are completely clueless, may I recommend you do some research concerning your religion? Then answer who the first LDS polygamist was? Joseph Smith. And then answer who he married? 14 yo girls based on threats, and even other married women. Be an informed adult and do some research. BTW this is easily found in all LDS “faithful sources”. Your completely wrong to claim this has nothing to do with the mainstream Mormons who presently still seal men to multiple wives in the temple for eternity. Who also currently still use doctrine that says polygamy was only rescinded due to the US making it illegal. And when done do some research on President and Prophet Grant who led the mainstream church and was its last polygamous Prophet in the 50’s. I agree with you, it is very sad people are still clueless about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!

        • my opinion is simply that June 20, 2014 at 8:51 am

          So, which mormon peed in your cheerios? Your logic is like saying that because you smoke, your great great great grandaughter will die of lung cancer. The LDS follow the teachings of the prophet through revelation. So when God reveled to the prophet of that time that they were not to practice polygamyanymore, those whom were rightious and faithful to God obeyed him. Which is the current Latter Day Saints. Those who put their sexual desires first and did not obey the commandment of God are now known as the FLDS. And since then the LDS church has grown into millions of members. So, whether or not Joseph Smith was a polygamist is irrelevant. God reveled the end of polygamy after Joseph Smith, after Brigham Young, and he reveled it to Wilford Woodruff who was the fourth prophet of the LDS church. I , may never understand in this life why there was polygamy and I won’t try to explain it. However, I know that at that time there was a reason. And at a later time the LDS were commanded not to practice it for another reason. I am not ashamed of the history of the church. I know that members don’t always act as they should, but what human being (mortal) has always acted as they should? I can only name one out of the billions and billions of people born to this earth. So, judge the LDS all you want, we are imperfect as you are.

      • GraceNotReligion June 20, 2014 at 9:09 am

        No, what is sad is that it is you ,who do not know your church’s history. I suggest you look at the timeline of the polygamy and polyandary that was practiced in Mormonism. No, the LDS church does not promote polygamy anymore, but it is the root of the problem. Joe S. added D&C 101 (condemning polygamy) while he was practicing it. Later this was removed and D&C 132 commanding polygamy was added, and polygamy was openly practiced. Your church organization still publishes this. Mormon fundamentalists are just following Joe Smiths teachings, all of them, as published by the LDS organization today. Agreed that the Mormon fundamentalists do not follow the Manifesto of 1890, but neither did the leaders of your church organization for many many years after 1890. Maybe it is time for the LDS organization to remove D&C 132 as it had done earlier with D&C 101…

        Oh, by the way, the LDS organization also publishes a version of the Bible. In there you will find that Gods word does not change (Numbers 23:19, James 1:17, Hebrews 6:17…). You will also find a different, and much greater Jesus with Grace beyond our understanding.

        • my opinion is simply that June 21, 2014 at 2:47 am

          Our organization does not still push this. I go every Sunday, I read the BoM and the Bible and all of the literature put out by the church and in the 39 years I have been going, never once have I been pushed to practice polygamy. I think it is so hilarious that those who dont attend our church think they know so much about it. Please. Thats like me a meager homemaker telling a cardiologist how to perform heart surgery. I cant even take your response seriously. Try going for a while and truly try to learn somethig. Your ignorance is killing me.

          • Jay Gatsby September 2, 2014 at 2:19 am

            You must conceed that Joesph Smith did the exact same thing that sent Jeffs to prison. You should not need God or even the law to tell you that marrying a 14 year old girl when you are 38 as your 20th wife is wrong. That is your founder. A pedophile.

      • Another ExMo June 21, 2014 at 12:13 pm

        Or how to spell it.

  • Real Life June 19, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Why has a blind eye been turned for so long with these sicko freaks? They need disbanded. How can you defend welfare fraud AND child rape?

  • June Naples June 19, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    This is about Colorado City, Arizona not Utah and I’ll bet that corruption exists in towns where Bible thumping religious elitist, born again, Mormon hating so called Christians dominate everything.

  • Paul Jensen June 19, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Didn’t something like this happen out there within the last ten years?

  • andrew June 19, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    Everything has a price

  • D Hodja June 19, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Perhaps LDS Utah is now ready to also stop the sexual assaults and abuse it took Texas to deal with.

  • SSfreeze June 20, 2014 at 5:24 am

    It’s time that the National Guard step in and take control of both cities if neither state will do anything about it. The fact that this is a known community where men, women and children are all forced to do things that are against their will and against the law is ridiculous. C’mon Utah, quit being an embarrassment to the rest of the United States.

    • H. Wang June 20, 2014 at 9:03 am

      The National Guard can be called in for peacekeeping and riots, not to enforce state law and provide non-biased law enforcement in a town.

  • Bree June 20, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Nothing will ever change in these two towns because it’s not popular for legislators to take actions against the FLDS and the residents. You get voted out of office for making bold moves to enforce State and Federal laws in Utah. The only way any change will occur is when Federal Law Enforcement (FBI or the IRS) decide to move in and regulate the entire community. It will take an army of FEDS to make it work and cost all of us millions to clean up the problems created by this organization masquerading as a “Church”. It’s not just a local problem anymore, it’s a State wide problem and the largest group of Polygamists are located in Salt Lake City, UT.

  • EL JEFE June 20, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Have any of you seen the vehicles these polygs drive? I wish I could drive a brand new Escalade, or Suburban, or Excursion, I even saw one of them (probably a leader) driving a brand new Range Rover. “Bleeding the beast” must be profitable. I just don’t know how much longer I will be able to contribute to the “beast” for the polygs benefit. I guess I should be glad that auto makers Jaguar and /or Tesla, or Rolls Royce don’t make an SUV…..or I’d have to bump up my contributions to the “beast”.

    • You know July 28, 2014 at 12:19 am

      They drive those fancy exspenive cars because everyone of their wives are on welfare and public ast. – food stamps. Along with WIC. They get 500 to 600 dollars a month times the amount of wives they have in food stamps. Thus allows them to drive a new car every year. They screw the Govt agencies and us as tax payers. If the general public really knew what’s going on out there with your tax dollars, you would be outraged.

  • st.georgeresident June 20, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Isn’t Caplin, the one running for County Attorney, the Hildale City Attorney?

  • H. Wang June 20, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    It is a shame the AZ legislators and AZ POST has allowed this to go on and on. The 9th circus judge hearing this is probably a mormon so nothing will happen again.

  • Mark June 20, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Have you seen the wads of cash they carry when they go to Wal-Mart or Costco? they are just as bad as … and all other free loading gubment recipients receiving …istance driving nice cars and having nice cel phones, also let’s not forget the ladies with 5 kids in tow at Harmon’s using ebt cards that look like debit card’s driving nice suv’$ with expensive purses, get a job and stop having so many kid’s, they should make them use welfare coupons’$ and have a special line only for them, with a cashier also on welfare.
    Ed. ellipsis

  • Lillith70 June 20, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Precedent in when the USA shut down the mainstream LDS church for practice of polygamy but a strange time to try it–just as the nation redefines marriage?

    • Lillith70 June 20, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      Oops, I read it that they were disbanding the FLDS (which is not without historical precedence) but may not be to modern Americans taste as it was when the Edmunds=Tucker Law was made back east to control things and people out west.

  • tinker toys June 21, 2014 at 3:53 am

    Any updates? Does anyone know how long the judge has to make a ruling?

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