The offices of California state senator Ron Calderon, a Democrat from the city of Montebello and a member of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, were combed by FBI agents on Tuesday as part of an ongoing investigation into "allegations of criminal activity".  Authorities refused to indicate to the press the nature of the probe or what they were seeking, but one federal law enforcement source did confirm to the Los Angeles Times that Calderon was "the focus of the investigation". Tony Beard, chief sergeant at arms for the California Senate, said in a statement that FBI agents had indeed served search warrants in the State Capital.

"Those warrants are sealed by order of the federal court; therefore we have no further information," said Beard. "The Senate has and will continue to fully cooperate with the agents in this matter."

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Calderon's spokesman declined to comment, but his attorney Mark Geragos - who has represented a list of celebrities which include Michael Jackson - condemned the raid in strong terms, calling it "an example of how out-of-control this Department of Justice is."

"They leak the search warrant but won't reveal information about the investigation. It's sinful how the FBI just shows up," he told CNN. "Senator Calderon is a victim of this agency that has no moral compass."

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller indicated to the network that no arrests are planned as yet.

Montebello, which Calderon represents, neighbors East Los Angeles in Los Angeles County, about 8 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.  It is majority Hispanic, with a large percentage of Mexican-Americans.  Calderon was elected to the state's upper house in 2006 after pursuing a career as a manager in the manufacturing industry and as a mortgage banker and real estate agent, according to his website.  A recent homeowner-protection bill sponsored by Calderon included an effort to keep those who short-sell their houses from being taxed on the loss taken by their lenders.

The Latino Legislative Caucus has been around since the early 1970s, when Mexican-American politicians first began to be elected to the state legislature in large numbers (it was known then as the Chicano Legislative Caucus).  It is made up of twenty-seven members: nine senators and eighteen assembly members.  Its website says it is "one of the most influential organizations within the State Legislature" and says its members "focus primarily on improving the quality of life for working families in California", while noting that "the issues affecting Latinos in California are issues that affect all Californians".