Capitol adds security after threats |

Capitol adds security after threats

Capitol Police Officer Chris Klein runs FedEx worker Jesse Rivera through a security checkpoint at the Capitol in 2010. Security measures were increased after governors in all 50 states received threatening letters.

State workers and visitors to the Nevada Capitol arrived Wednesday morning to find all but the front door locked and metal detectors for both packages and people set up at the entrance.

The Capitol was locked down late Tuesday after the FBI advised the governors of all 50 states they would be receiving letters from an extremist group demanding their resignations, according to Lynn Hettrick, Deputy Chief of Staff to Gov. Jim Gibbons.

Hettrick said the decision was to “err on the side of caution” and implement tough security measures. The Capitol houses offices of the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, controller and treasurer.

The letters reportedly advise governors that, if they don’t resign, members of the group will “commandeer” their offices. It was received by the Capitol Police at noon Monday and immediately turned over to FBI investigators.

The letters are apparently from an organization allied with Sovereign Citizens, which the Anti-Defamation League identifies as a collection of anti-government groups advocating an anarchist ideology. Its followers believe every level of government in the United States is illegitimate and should be eliminated. One of the ideology’s adherents was Terry Nichols, accomplice of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Not only were six of the seven doors into the building locked down, a grounds crew used heavy equipment to place large boulders at the ungated entrances to the Capitol grounds, blocking vehicles but allowing pedestrian access.

Hettrick said Nevada apparently wasn’t singled out, that every governor’s office in the country received one of the letters.

The Department of Public Safety could not be reached for comment on the situation.


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