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Another Plea Deal In Polygamist Food Stamp Fraud Case

Another suspect has accepted a plea deal in a food-stamp fraud case brought against polygamists on the Arizona-Utah border.

Preston Barlow pleaded guilty to a food-stamp fraud charge. It’s part of an agreement that allows him to avoid prison and only pay a $25 administrative fee. He will also have to attend a food-stamp training next month.

Barlow was one of 11 polygamists charged last year in the federal case, which marked a major government effort to crack down on the sect. Nine of the 11 people charged in scheme have taken plea deals and avoided prison. Another defendant had his charges dismissed.

The one lingering case is Lyle Jeffs, the highest-ranking leader caught in the bust. He has been a fugitive since June when he escaped home confinement in Salt Lake City.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Stina Sieg was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2013 to 2018.