Author Topic: FBI entrapped Raymond 'Shrimp Boy' Chow (associate of Leland Yee), lawyer says  (Read 302 times)

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Offline rangerrebew

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FBI entrapped Raymond 'Shrimp Boy' Chow, lawyer says

Bob Egelko
Updated 4:39 pm, Tuesday, April 8, 2014

As state Sen. Leland Yee and his codefendants pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of political corruption, gun-running and other crimes financed by payoffs from undercover agents, a lawyer for one defendant accused the FBI of entrapment and racism.

"The government created the crime, the government financed the crime, and the government ensnared my client," Tony Serra, lawyer for Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, told reporters after 21 defendants were arraigned in federal court. "We will put the government rightfully on trial."

Chow, a Chinatown gang leader, was released from federal prison in 2003 after a racketeering sentence and promised to turn his life around. As leader of an association called the Ghee Kung Tong, or Chinese freemasons, he has been honored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee for his work with troubled youth.

5-year investigation

But an FBI affidavit last month said Chow was at the center of a five-year corruption investigation that began in Chinatown and led to Keith Jackson, an associate of Chow's and a consultant to Yee, and ultimately to the now-suspended state senator.

Chow is charged with laundering $2.3 million - some from drug sales, some from federal agents posing as criminals - and with selling stolen liquor and cigarettes. Yee is charged with conspiring with Jackson to accept $62,600 in bribes from agents in exchange for political favors - including a proclamation honoring Chow's association - and for agreeing to import illegal firearms through another federal agent.

Jackson, a former San Francisco school board president, faces additional charges of drug trafficking and arranging a purported murder-for-hire plot. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday and is free on a $250,000 bond.

Yee, a San Francisco Democrat who dropped out of the race for California secretary of state after his arrest March 26, is free on a $500,000 bond.

'Unadulterated racism'

Chow is being held without bail. Serra, one of three volunteer attorneys who took over Chow's case Friday after a grand jury indictment was unsealed, said he will enter a not-guilty plea for Chow next week and seek his release on bail in May.

The FBI affidavit said Chow told an agent he had approved crimes by other members of his association while keeping his own hands clean. But the affidavit did not quote Chow as admitting any wrongdoing, and Serra said there was no evidence against him.

"They wanted him to open a restaurant, like the Mafia does, to process cash and launder it. He refused," the veteran defense lawyer said.

The investigation was fueled, he contended, by "unadulterated racism," an effort to show that "Chinese gangsters ... control Chinatown."

"It's a bunch of baloney," Serra said, calling the impending trial "the best antigovernment case I've seen in maybe a decade."
« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 05:38:35 AM by rangerrebew »
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