Police raid Utah properties of well-known polygamist Kingston Clan
(KUTV) A large police presence swarmed a well-known polygamous family's property in South Salt Lake Wednesday.
A Department of Justice Spokesman Peter Carr confirmed to KUTV that it is involved in some "law enforcement activity in the area," but declined to further elaborate.
Agents are serving search warrants on properties that were sealed by a U.S. District Court judge, according to Melodie Rydalch with the U.S. Attorney's Office.
A former member of the Kingston group, Emily Tucker, left the group when she was 14 years old in 2001. She calls the group "evil" and "horrible" and says she is really happy about the raid and investigation into the group is just a start.
"I say evil and horrible because I know what they are capable of I know some of the things they have done," she said.
Tucker says the group thinks they are above the law and will take advantage of everything including food stamps and Medicaid.
"So the government is basically the beast," Tucker told KUTV. "They believe that the government owes them, and they will try and get everything out of them that they possibly can."
So far, KUTV has spotted a law enforcement presence at 10 W. Century Parkway, 3212 S. State State, 3950 S. 700 East and a residential property at 2072 S. Creek Rd.
The Kingston Clan is also known as the Davis County Cooperative and has been the subject of increased public scrutiny over the years. The Kingston clan is lead by Paul Elden Kingston and two of his brothers, David Ortel Kingston and John Daniel Kingston, according to our news sharing partners at The Salt Lake Tribune. David Ortell Kingston spent four years in prison after being convicted of incest and unlawful sexual activity, the Tribune reports. John Daniel Kingston spent about 7 months behind bars after pleading no contest to child abuse following a 1998 episode in which he "belt-whipped a girl," according to The Tribune.
Law enforcement is currently raiding several Kingston Clan properties around the Salt Lake Valley, with officers in unmarked vehicles surrounding the area.
Nate Carlisle with The Salt Lake Tribune reports Kingston members along with a crew from a Polygamy reality show are at the scene of the raids recording what is going on.
An attorney for the Davis County Co-Op Society Inc, a nonprofit organization says he isn't worried about the police investigation.
To the best of my knowledge everything they do is above board and completely legal, Hansen said adding that the company will cooperate. "I have no information that would lead me to believe that there is anything illegal going on."