Santa Clara Resident Arrested and Arraigned on Alleged Death Threat of State Senator; Explosive Devices Found at Suspect‘s Residence
By Robert Haugh, Photos by Tony Medina

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Santa Clara Resident Arrested and Arraigned on Alleged Death Threat of State Senator; Explosive Devices Found at Suspect‘s Residence

After allegedly sending State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) death threats via email with detailed information on how he planned on carrying out the assassination, 45-year-old Santa Clara resident Everett Fred Basham was arrested in Sunnyvale on February 12.

“Four weeks ago, I received an email to my Senate account detailing a very explicit threat on my life,” Yee said in a February 14 statement. “The author of the email specifically stated that if I did not cease our legislative efforts to stop gun violence that he would assassinate me in or around the Capitol. He stated that he was a trained sniper and his email detailed certain weapons he possessed. This threat was unlike any other I had ever received...it was very deliberate and specific.”

Basham’s death threat purportedly stems from Yee’s submission of, and support of, legislation strengthening California’s assault weapon ban. Yee’s SB 47 will prohibit the use of the bullet button and other devices that allow for easily changeable magazines on military-style assault weapons, such as AR-15s. Under SB 47, featured weapons would only be allowed to have low capacity (10-round) ammunition magazines that could not be changed without dissembling the weapon. Yee’s SB 108 also requires all guns to be properly stored when not in the possession of the owner. Current law only requires that gun owners install trigger locks on or safety lock boxes for their weapons, but doesn’t require the safety device to be used on an idle firearm. Yee’s bill will specifically require that all guns be properly stored with a trigger lock or in a lock box at a residence when the owner is not present.

A CHP investigation led to the confiscation of bomb-making materials and illegal weapons at the suspect’s home on the 3100 block of Humbolt Avenue in Santa Clara.

A SWAT team, as well as FBI and ATF agents, searched the suspect’s home, finding chemicals and items utilized in bomb making - several were identified and disposed of safely. One item was buried, covered with sandbags and detonated on the front lawn. The search of home began on February 12 and lasted through February 14, with officials finding multiple “completed destructive devices,” which were taken away to be detonated off-site.

Basham was charged with multiple counts on February 15, including 10 felonies. Charges included criminal threats with an armed enhancement, possessing a destructive device, possessing materials with intent to make an explosive and illegally possessing an assault weapon. Basham allegedly owned a high-powered rifle as well as a combat shotgun.

Specific details on what Basham wrote were not released, with the investigation still underway. Basham is expected to he held with no bail.