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Yee calls death threat over gun measures explicit and chilling

Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) received a threatening email about four weeks ago. A suspect was arrested on Tuesday.
(Ben Margot / Associated Press)

SAN FRANCISCO -- State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) has received death threats before, he said Thursday, but this one was “unlike any other.”

The emailed warning that arrived four weeks ago was explicit and chilling, the San Francisco Democrat told reporters two days after a suspect was arrested in the case, so particular that it could not be ignored as “racist ranting” or protected speech.

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“The author of that email specifically stated that if I did not cease efforts to deal with gun violence that he would assassinate me in or around the Capitol,” Yee said during a morning news conference here. “He stated that he was a trained sniper.”

Yee said his office immediately notified authorities about the warning, which “detailed in a rather specific way certain weapons that he possessed and exactly how he was going to kill me.”

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On Tuesday, law enforcement officials arrested Everett Basham, 45, a Silicon Valley engineer who once worked with Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Chief Scott MacGregor, head of the California Highway Patrol’s protective services division, said that officers found “precursor chemicals” used for bomb making and “chemicals that had an explosive component” while serving a search warrant at Basham’s Santa Clara home.

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MacGregor, who appeared with Yee on Thursday morning, said officials are “not suggesting that [Basham] was anywhere near taking action on the threat” against the legislator, but rather that “he was arrested for making the threat.”

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