Federal charges brought against another California State Senator

We recently discussed the public corruption charges leveled against California State Senator Ron Calderon. In particular, Sen. Calderon is accused of accepting bribes. Now a political and legal storm is surrounding another of California's lawmakers. As you may have heard, State Senator Leland Yee was recently arrested on a range of federal allegations, including illegal campaign funding, wire fraud and conspiring to traffic firearms.

Federal agents raided Yee's offices, and the former mayoral candidate was taken into custody at his home. He was later released on bond and is expected in court again on March 31.

Yee and 25 other people were arrested in a series of raids that led to a wide variety of charges. The allegations include money laundering, murder-for-hire, illegal cigarette trafficking, weapons trafficking, fraud and drug trafficking.

One of the men facing charges is the head of the Chee Kung Tong organization in San Francisco's Chinatown. The building where the Masonic group is based was also raided by federal authorities.

Undercover agents reportedly worked to gather evidence to charge Yee with campaign violations and conspiracy to traffic weapons.

Clearly, the charges against the senator are extremely serious, and investigators have usually gathered a significant amount of evidence before federal charges are brought against a defendant. However, exactly how an accused individual is or is not connected to alleged crimes is a matter for the court to decide. Everyone facing criminal charges has a right to his or her day in court.

California residents will undoubtedly see updates on this case in the weeks to come.

Source: CBS SF Bay Area, "State Sen. Leland Yee Arrested, Accused In Conspiracy Involving Arms Trafficking, Campaign Fraud," March 26, 2014

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