Arizona

Fugitive polygamous leader wants charges dropped

FILE - This Jan. 21, 2015 file photo, Lyle Jeffs leaves the federal courthouse in Salt Lake City. Authorities say Utah polygamous sect leader Jeffs likely used olive oil or another lubricant to slip off his GPS ankle monitor and escape home confinement last June 2016. Jeffs was supposed to be on home confinement pending trial in an alleged multimillion-dollar food stamp fraud scheme. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

FILE - This Jan. 21, 2015 file photo, Lyle Jeffs leaves the federal courthouse in Salt Lake City. Authorities say Utah polygamous sect leader Jeffs likely used olive oil or another lubricant to slip off his GPS ankle monitor and escape home confinement last June 2016. Jeffs was supposed to be on home confinement pending trial in an alleged multimillion-dollar food stamp fraud scheme. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)  (The Associated Press)

Polygamous leader Lyle Jeffs is a fugitive after slipping out of a GPS ankle monitor last month, but that isn't stopping his attorneys from asking a judge to drop food stamp fraud charges against him.

The polygamous leader's attorneys contend in a new court filing Tuesday that Jeffs' religious freedom rights allow him and others in the sect to share food stamp benefits as part of their communal living.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Utah declined comment, saying it will respond response with the court.

Authorities say Jeffs likely used olive oil or another lubricant to slip off his GPS ankle monitor and escape home confinement last month in Utah.

Jeffs was awaiting trial in a multimillion-dollar food stamp fraud case. He runs day-to-day operations in the polygamous community on the Utah-Arizona border.