San Francisco, CA, United States (4E) – Democratic California State Sen. Leland Yee was released Wednesday after posting a $500,000 bail during his arraignment at the U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
Yee, who was among 26 people FBI agents arrested in a series of raids in San Francisco and Sacrament on Wednesday, was charged with conspiring to traffic in firearms and corruption to raise funds for his 2014 campaign as secretary of state. His release came as his colleagues called for his resignation.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-SD06) told reporters Yee should resign or he will strip him of his committee assignments or motion for his suspension.
“Don’t burden your colleagues and this great institution with your troubles. Leave!” Steinberg said, according to Sacramento Bee.
Based on a federal affidavit related to the case, Yee tried to broker the sale and importation of guns from an international arms dealer and another weapons dealer from the Philippines. An undercover agent got Yee to facilitate the illegal gun transaction.
A political consultant named Keith Jackson, who was among those arrested in Wednesday’s raids, also helped Yee raise money to pay a $70,000 debt he incurred for his mayoral candidacy in 2011, according to the affidavit. An undercover agent posing as a contributor gave $10,000 to Yee, who allegedly accepted the payment in exchange for the senator’s help in convincing the state Department of Public Health to give the agent an IT consultancy service contract.
Yee also allegedly accepted $21,000 from another undercover agent posing as medical marijuana businessman in exchange for introducing the latter to two state legislators working on the issue of medical marijuana.