Crime & Justice

Judge to decide if ex-California lawmaker's trial proceeds

FILE - In this Monday June 10, 2013, file photo State Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, left, holds a brief news conference during first appearance at the Capitol since the FBI investigators raided his offices in Sacramento, Calif. Sen. Calderon was a no-show with an unexcused absence after at least a half-dozen FBI agents carted boxes from his Sacramento offices following a more than six-hour search in June 2013. Sen. Calderon did not answer any questions and no details have been given for the search and no charges have been filed. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
FILE - In this Monday June 10, 2013, file photo State Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, left, holds a brief news conference during first appearance at the Capitol since the FBI investigators raided his offices in Sacramento, Calif. Sen. Calderon was a no-show with an unexcused absence after at least a half-dozen FBI agents carted boxes from his Sacramento offices following a more than six-hour search in June 2013. Sen. Calderon did not answer any questions and no details have been given for the search and no charges have been filed. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
Rich Pedroncelli/AP

California Sen. Ron Calderon strolled into the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas two years ago primed for another weekend of fun. In a 10th floor room, overlooking the hotel's iconic dancing fountains, his plans folded.

FBI agents confronted Calderon, saying he was the target of a corruption investigation and they had evidence he had accepted $100,000 in bribes to influence legislation.

Since then, Calderon has been charged with 24 federal counts of bribery, fraud, and money laundering, he's no longer a senator, and he faces a maximum 396 years in federal prison. He has pleaded not guilty.

This week is a critical one for Calderon. A judge is set to decide Thursday whether the government's case should proceed and, if it does, what evidence prosecutors can use at trial.