The sect, though heavily in debt, owns 26 properties in Dade County worth about $7 million. Monthly mortgage payments run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
The temple's leaders have said only that the money comes from contributions and profits from grocery stores, rents and other Yahweh businesses.
In a sworn statement last year, temple treasurer Judith Israel said that contributions alone amounted to more than $1 million a year. A report prepared by an accountant showed the group had received $1.3 million in contributions during the first seven months of 1989.
The temple has not disclosed the sources of the contributions. Israel said the temple does not pay federal taxes.
Before his arrest, Mitchell refused to say whether he pays personal federal taxes. His attorney at the time, Ellis Rubin, acknowledged that Mitchell's personal finances were under government investigation.
Rozier contended that at least part of the contributions came from drug dealers.
He testified during the trial of a lawsuit filed by tenants of an Opa-locka building forcibly evacuated by the Yahwehs in 1986. Rozier has admitted taking part in the murders of two tenants who resisted the evictions.
The 27 tenants won a judgment of nearly $1 million in the case after U.S. District Judge James Kehoe ruled that the Temple of Love had waged a campaign of extortion against them.
Under questioning by Tom Equels, an attorney for the tenants, Rozier said Mitchell promised drug dealers "prosperity" in exchange for donations.
Rozier said he first learned of the connections with drug dealers one day when a trafficker named Tim, whom he described as a temple member and a frequent visitor to the sect's headquarters, arrived with another member named Mikael Israel.
Israel, who was born Maurice Woodside, was among the sect members indicted, linked to one murder and an attempted murder. His attorney, Richard Gagliano, did not return phone calls to his office last week.
"Mikael got out of the car with a bag -- a pillow case it looked like, " Rozier told the court. "And he stopped and showed it to me, opened it up for me. And from what I could see there was several thousand dollars in cash. And he said this is from Tim and his lieutenants, a donation for Yahweh Ben Yahweh.
"I escorted him inside with the money. At that time (Yahweh Ben Yahweh) was having a meeting with some of the elders. And he presented the money to Yahweh Ben Yahweh, and he showed the money to the other elders and made comments on it . . . like, I understand what these brothers have to do in order to earn a living. But if they give donations and tithes to Yahweh, Yahweh will protect them and make sure they don't get arrested. And they will be continuously prosperous."
Rozier did not say what kind of protection the sect provided or what happened to the money after it was given to the Yahwehs.
Investing in real estate is a common way of hiding, or "laundering, " illicit profits. If the government can prove that buildings were purchased with dirty money, it could confiscate them.
U.S. Attorney Lehtinen, at a news conference announcing the charges last month, said his office did not plan to seize any Yahweh property under the current indictment.
"That question is something we address at a later date, " Lehtinen said.
Attorney Equels said he is convinced Rozier was telling the truth about the money because Rozier had nothing to gain from testifying.