In court Wednesday, Federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment against California State Senator Leland Yee and accused him of conspiring to commit wire fraud and traffic firearms.
A total of 26 people, including former school board president Keith Jackson, were indicted on charges related to an extensive crime ring headed by well-known Chinatown figure Raymond Chow. According to the Los Angeles Times, Chow was also arrested and charged Wednesday.
This revelation could end the political career of the well-known Democrat. Senate leader Darrell Steinberg called on Yee to resign or face swift action by the State Senate.
“We’re going to demand that Leland Yee — yes, innocent until proven guilty — leave the Senate and leave it now,” Steinberg said at a news conference in his office, where he was joined by 14 fellow Democratic senators.
According to the indictment, Yee and Jackson defrauded “citizens of honest services” and were involved in a scheme to traffic firearms in exchange for thousands in campaign donations to the senator.
Federal prosecutors also allege Yee agreed to perform official acts in exchange for the money, including one instance in which he introduced a businessman to state legislators who had significant influence over pending medical marijuana legislation. In exchange, the businessman — who was actually an undercover FBI agent — agreed to donate thousands to Yee’s campaign fund, according to the indictment.
Corruption is at epic portions for Senate Democrats in California — Yee is the third Democratic senator to have been charged or convicted of wrongdoing in the last several months.