Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The False Prophet: Warren Jeffs


Nevada Highway Trooper Eddie Dutchover
Nevada Highway Trooper
Eddie Dutchover

Monday, August 28, 2006 was a far from average day for Nevada Highway Trooper Eddie Dutchover. While on patrol duty, he made a routine traffic stop on Interstate 15 just outside of Las Vegas at around 9 p.m. after he noticed that the red 2007 Cadillac Escalade SUV he pulled over bore illegible temporary Colorado license plates. When Dutchover approached the vehicle he counted three occupants in the car, the driver, who was identified immediately as Issac Jeffs, 32; a woman about the same age, and a middle-aged man in the back seat.

Upon questioning, Issac Jeffs claimed that they had stayed for the evening in Las Vegas, which struck the officer by surprise considering the enormous amount of luggage in the car. However, what Dutchover found even more interesting was the behavior of the man in the back seat dressed in a t-shirt and shorts, nervously munching away at a salad. The man was so anxious that the vein in his neck was rapidly pulsating, prompting Dutchover to say, "You're making me nervous, is everything Okay?" even though he knew that something was terribly wrong, Ken Ritter reported for the Associated Press.

Jeffs' Escalade
Jeffs' Escalade

Dutchover questioned the men even further. As he did, his suspicion grew because of the inconsistencies between the men's stories. One example was when Issac said they were on route to Utah and the man in the back claimed that they were traveling to Denver, Colorado. Ted Rowlands reported on Larry King Live that "at that point he (Dutchover) called in reinforcements."

Eventually, more troopers arrived at the scene and a search of the vehicle commenced. To their surprise they found envelopes, among other objects of interest, addressed to President Warren Jeffs, a notorious polygamist sect leader and fugitive listed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list. It was then that they began to put two and two together. Was it possible that the man in the back seat, who was at that point refusing to talk, was the infamous Warren Jeffs? The troopers didn't want to take any chances and they decided to call in the FBI to assist in the investigation.

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