FBI agents leave Sen. Leland Yee's Capitol office in Sacramento after an early-morning raid on Wednesday. (KFBK/Scot Murdoch) 

California State Senator Leland Yee is in federal custody and has been indicted on public corruption charges.  

The veteran state lawmaker was set to make a federal court appearance in San Francisco this afternoon.

Senator Leland Yee is just the biggest name that has been netted in this large investigation.

In all, 30 people have been arrested and agents are serving search warrants at more than 15 locations across the state -- one of those was Yee's Capitol office where agents spent almost five hours combing through computers, documents and files.

Agents finally exited the office about noon with five carts and suitcases full of potential evidence.

The mystery behind the investigation was lifted this afternoon when 137-page indictment was finally released.

It contains charges of drug smuggling, firearm trafficking, money laundering and more. 

The Democratic senator himself faces charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and to illegally import firearms.


A raid also took place at the Gee King Tong Free Masons office in The City's Chinatown district and is linked to the arrest this morning of Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow.  

Yee's connection to Chow's arrest, if any, has not been disclosed. 

Yee is a former State Assemblyman and also served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and School Board. 

Yee, a Democrat, is currently a candidate for California Secretary of State, according to his website. 


A Look into Yee's Background 

A child psychologist by training, Dr. Leland Yee, has been politically active for decades, first as a San Francisco Supervisor, and later in the Assembly.

Lee's been a prolific bill writer, spearheading laws to enhance the protection of children, and the mentally ill.

He's fought for gay rights, and tougher gun laws, and occasionally bucks the liberal majority, as he came out against banning shark fins as and affront to Asian culture.

Yee was a fierce critic of former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's health care plan, and famously questioned the use of public money to pay for a speech by Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Yee's only prior brush with the law came in 1992 when he allegedly boosted a bottle of sun screen from a store while visiting Hawaii.

Just last week, California's Society of Professional Journalists presented Leland Yee with the Sunshine Award for legislative transparency.

Arrest Changes the Political Scene

The arrest of another big-name Democrat changes the political scene at the Capitol.

Yee is the third senator to run into legal trouble in recent months.

Rod Wright and Ron Calderon are already on leaves of absence over criminal charges -- Calderon for corruption and Wright for voter fraud.

Their departure costs the Democrats their super-majority and Yee's assumed departure further complicates things.

If he makes a departure before his term is out, the number of seats held would drop to 25 and Republicans would play a larger role in legislation that requires two-thirds votes: tax increases and amendments.

Yee's arrest also changes the Secretary of State Race, a very crowded field.

Fellow Democrat Alex Padilla and Independent Dan Schnurr are headed in to the June primary with the most cash on hand.

Check back for updates on this developing story.