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Social workers turned away from FLDS ranch

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Sect's lawyer says social workers didn't have a warrant
  • NEW: CPS was checking out report of more children at polygamist ranch
  • More than 460 children were taken from the YFZ Ranch in April
  • Custody hearings for the children continuing in five courtrooms in nearby San Angelo
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ELDORADO, Texas (CNN) -- Texas Child Protective Services workers were turned back from a polygamist sect's ranch Wednesday when they tried to investigate reports that some children remained at the compound, a lawyer for the sect said.


An FLDS member mans the gate at the sect's Yearning for Zion Ranch in West Texas.

Rod Parker, a lawyer for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, said two CPS employees arrived at the ranch Wednesday morning.

He said the workers, who were accompanied by at least one sheriff's deputy, did not have a warrant and were denied access.

Authorities removed more than 460 children from the YFZ Ranch in April after receiving allegations of abuse at the compound. Representatives of the sect have denied that any abuse has taken place.

"CPS had believed all children had been removed as authorized by a state district judge," agency spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner said. "This morning, along with law enforcement, we went to the ranch to make some initial inquiries, and we are now conferring with law enforcement."

Five courtrooms in nearby San Angelo, about 200 miles northwest of Austin, are booked through June for hearings on what to do with the children taken from the ranch in the April raids. Video Watch what's going on at the hearings »

FLDS leader Warren Jeffs is serving time in Utah after his 2007 conviction for being an accomplice to rape, charges related to a child bride's marriage to an older cousin that he performed in 2001.


Jeffs also faces trial in Arizona on eight charges of sexual conduct with a minor, incest and conspiracy in another child bride case.

Several of Jeffs' offspring were removed from the Texas ranch during the raid.

All About Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

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