SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – State Senator Leland Yee’s Sacramento office has been blocked off by California Highway Patrol officers as FBI raids hit several locations across the California coast Wednesday morning.
Yee is in custody, according to CBSSF. He was seen arriving at the federal courthouse in San Francisco in handcuffs. According to the FBI indictment released later Wednesday, Yee has been charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to deal firearms.
Yee was among 26 people indicted by the FBI Wednesday. Among them is the notorious Raymond Chow. Chow, also known as “Shrimp Boy,” was reportedly the head of Ghee Kung Tong, one of several fraternal organizations in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Chow had returned to Chinatown after serving time in prison on gun charges.
According to KCBS, federal investigators have raided both the San Francisco area and Sacramento offices of Yee. Ghee Kung Tong’s offices were among those raided as well.
FBI agents have been searching Yee’s Sacramento office since 7 a.m., the Capitol’s legislative counsel tells CBS13.
“I was surprised to learn of the developments this morning. Like everyone else, we are waiting for additional information and can’t make further comment,” said Assemblymember Paul Fong (D – San Jose) in a statement.
Yee, a Democrat, has represented California’s 8th Senate District – which encompasses parts of San Francisco and most of San Mateo County – since 2006. He is currently a candidate for California’s Secretary of State. The biography on Yee’s website touts his record as a prolific lawmaker. Of the 181 pieces of legislation he’s passed, Yee notes, 138 have been written into law.
“Coming on the heels of the corruption charges of Senator Calderon and the conviction of Senator Wright, today’s actions need to be a wake up call. We are clearly beyond the point of looking at one bad apple and instead looking at a corrupt institution in the California senate. The constant begging for campaign cash clearly has a corrosive effect on a person’s soul and the only solution is to get big money out of our politics once and for all,” wrote Derek Cressman, one of Yee’s opponents in the Secretary of State race, in a statement.
The lawmaker has seen his share of controversy. Yee, then a member of the California State Assembly, notoriously passed a series of bills in 2005 that banned sales of violent video games to children. The law was challenged and eventually ended up before the Supreme Court, who ruled it unconstitutional.
Back in 2010, the National Rifle Association gave Yee a “D” grade on gun rights, according to Votesmart.org. The Gun Owners of California gave him a 0% rating on gun rights back in 2008.
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