HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Texas prison officials are playing a hide-and-seek game with former polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs, who is trying to exert control over the secretive religious group from behind bars.

Officials say his wives tried to smuggle tiny microphones in hollowed-out watches during two visits to Jeffs, who is serving a life term for sexually assaulting his 12- and 15-year-old brides. A female visitor tried to conceal an object in her hair. His phone privileges were temporarily taken away because followers put him on speakerphone. And prison officials blocked some mail from Jeffs because it appeared to be written in code.

One former member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints says the coded letters are passed during lawyer visits, which are subject to attorney-client privilege.