(NaturalNews) It's being called a massive case of duplicity and hypocrisy.
The FBI has arrested California state Sen. Leland Yee, a staunch anti-gun fanatic, for his alleged involvement in a gun-running conspiracy. According to the Los Angeles Times, an affidavit filed in federal court in San Francisco by FBI Special Agent Emmanuel V. Pascua said the agency had probable cause to suspect Yee has been involved in various crimes, including a conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and import firearms illegally.
Yee, who is prominent in California's longstanding Democratic legislative minority, has for years been one of the chamber's most virulent advocates against guns and violent video games.
The criminal complaint, which was unveiled March 26, said Yee sought donations in return for arranging a meeting between an Italian gangster from New Jersey and an international arms dealer, the Times reported. The gangster, it turns out, was a federal undercover agent.
The complaint stated that Yee was a tough talker who said he had shady contacts and had no problems obtaining automatic weapons.
"Do I think we can make some money? I think we can make some money," the state senator said, according to the complaint. "Do I think we can get the goods? I think we can get the goods."
'People want to get whatever they want to get'
According to the FBI complaint, Yee had an "agnostic" attitude about arms dealing.
"People want to get whatever they want to get. Do I care? No, I don't care. People need certain things," said Yee, according to the complaint.
Later in the day, after the affidavit was made public, the Citizens for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a pro-Second Amendment organization, released a searing statement directed at Yee, 65, of San Francisco.
"If these allegations are true, Sen. Yee is easily the biggest hypocrite on gun control to walk the halls of the capitol in Sacramento, if not the entire United States," said the group's chairman Alan Gottlieb.
"It is hard to fathom this kind of activity on a scale as massive as these court documents allege. If Sen. Yee and his fellow defendants are convicted, they're going to wind up in one of the biggest gun-free zones in the country, a federal prison."
The National Rifle Association chimed in as well.
"This poster boy for gun control is a scumbag," said the NRA's Andrew Arulanandam.
Ironically, Yee was scheduled to be honored earlier in March by the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, according to an announcement on Yee's website. It further stated that the senator "has authored numerous bills designed to make government more transparent."
Arrest part of a 'sweeping effort'
The announcement also said that Yee has received a number of similar awards, including one called the Freedom of Information Award by the California Newspaper Publishers Association.
"State Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco will receive the Public Official Award for his courage to oppose his own Democratic Party leaders and the governor in 2013 with public criticism of efforts to weaken the California Public Records Act by loosening disclosure requirements for local governments," the SPJ chapter's website said.
However, after news broke of Yee's indictment, his office press secretary, Dan Lieberman, told the L.A. Times that there would be no comment regarding the FBI raids.
Reports said Yee was taken into custody by federal authorities the day his indictment was announced. He was seen being loaded into an unmarked law enforcement vehicle while being shielded by an umbrella. He was later released on $500,000 bond after he surrendered his passport.
"His arrest was part of a sweeping sting that unfolded in the fog and rain Wednesday morning as hundreds of local and federal law enforcement agents descended simultaneously on numerous locations," the Times reported.