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FBI raids offices of Alaska Senate president Ben Stevens and Rules Committee Chairman John Cowdery

8/31/06

Juneau, Alaska

Federal agents swarmed Alaska legislative offices in Juneau, Anchorage, Eagle River and Wasilla today, and were executing search warrants on several state senators.

What, me worry?

FBI spokesman Eric Gonzalez said search warrants were being served at those offices, but wouldn't say who is being targeted, what the investigation is about or when it began.

"It's an ongoing investigation is all I can say," Gonzalez said.

Among the offices being searched were those of Senate President Ben Stevens, R-Anchorage, and Senate Rules Committee Chairman John Cowdery, R-Anchorage. They're next door to each other on the fifth floor of the downtown legislative offices.

Cowdery was seen being questioned around noon by federal agents in a conference room. Cowdery wouldn't say what the raid was about. Asked by a reporter whether he was under criminal investigation, he said, "I don't think so".

At least a dozen agents were seen in the Anchorage offices early this afternoon, and also were seen in offices in Juneau. Agents came and went from the offices of Stevens, Cowdery and a nearby conference room. Around 1:30 p.m., an agent wearing latex gloves could be seen through the blinds in Stevens' office placing items in a box.

Sen. Kim Elton, D-Juneau said he had been told that FBI agents from out of state were searching several offices including Stevens, Cowdery and Rep. Vic Kohring, R-Wasilla.

Sen. Tom Wagoner, R-Kenai, said he arrived for a meeting at the Anchorage office a little before noon and wasn't allowed to enter the Senate offices.

"The place was crawling with FBI," Wagoner said.
From ADN.com and wire reports.

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