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shed.jpgShortly after FBI agents began searching the offices of Sen. Ron Calderon this week, Chief Sergeant-at-Arms Tony Beard began fielding phone calls asking whether the letters had arrived.

Letters?

Rumors were flying that the raid involved poisonous letters that had been sent to the Montebello Democrat, laced with the toxin ricin, Beard said.

Speculation about what the FBI is looking for and who its agents may interview at the Capitol is running rampant, but since the federal search warrant is sealed, all the chatter is guesswork, according to Beard.

The biggest whopper, Beard said, was that a little wooden shed next to Calderon's office was a secret hideaway for the FBI, used to monitor arrivals and departures from Calderon's fifth-floor office.

That stemmed from a joke by a Capitol employee to a companion, overheard by reporters standing nearby, Beard said.

Truth is, the enclosure is for a ventilation maintenance project, Beard said.

PHOTO: A shed outside Sen. Ron Calderon's Capitol office may be not so mysterious after all. The Sacramento Bee/Melody Gutierrez



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