A Bay Area man who authorities say was building homemade bombs has been arrested on suspicion of threatening to kill a state lawmaker.
Everett Basham, 45, was booked Tuesday on multiple charges, including possession of a manufactured explosive and illegal possession of chemicals used to make explosives.
Police served an arrest warrant on him after being alerted by state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), whose office said Basham had threatened to kill the lawmaker if he continued pushing legislation to restrict assault weapons.
California Highway Patrol officers arrested Basham at a relative’s home in Sunnyvale on Tuesday. They found a loaded handgun in his car, said Officer Sean Kennedy, a CHP spokesman.
Two hours later, a SWAT team searched Basham's residence in Santa Clara, where they observed what authorities described as “precursors to homemade explosives.”
Authorities asked Basham’s neighbors to evacuate their homes while officers from the CHP’s bomb squad and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office searched the residence and removed the chemicals.
Authorities detonated “a small amount of substances” that they were unable to identify by digging holes in front of the house and lining the pits with sandbags, Kennedy said. Nearby residents were allowed to return to their homes at that time.
Kennedy said the house was so cluttered that authorities were unable to finish their search and returned Wednesday, when they found “destructive devices.” He said bomb squad officers would be returning with a bomb trailer Thursday to dispose of the devices.
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-- Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento
Photo: Sen. Leland Yee in an April 2010 file photo. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press