Trial is expected to reveal polygamous towns' inner workings

A trial this month is expected to reveal the inner workings of two secluded towns on the Arizona-Utah line that authorities say were acting as agents of a corrupt polygamist regime.

A lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department against Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona, alleges local leaders discriminated against residents who aren't members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The sect broke away from Mormonism when the mainstream faith disavowed polygamy more than 100 years ago.

The towns are accused of preventing nonmembers from building homes, and its police officers are accused of assisting the sect's leader while he was a fugitive.

The communities deny the allegations and say religion isn't a motivating factor in their decisions.

The trial begins Jan. 19 in Phoenix.