Nevada Capitol locked down in wake of threats

(Geoff Dornan)   State workers and visitors to the Nevada Capitol were surprised 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.

The letters advises those governors that, if they don’t resign, members of the group  will come and “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.

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

Lynn Hettrick, Deputy Chief of Staff to Gov. Jim Gibbons, said the decision by the governor’s office and Public Safety was to “err on the side of caution” and implement tough security measures since the Capitol houses offices of not only the governor but lieutenant governor, secretary of state, controller and treasurer.

Not only were six of the seven doors into the building locked down, a buildings and grounds crew used heavy equipment to strategically 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.

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