Shrimping Ain’t Easy

This is a riff on a story Dwight put up, namely the arrest of California Democratic state senator (and Secretary of State candidate) Leland Yee on arms trafficking and other charges, and his alleged connection with convicted gangster Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow (born Kwok Cheung).

Things worth highlighting:

  • It was inevitable that a Democrat accused of arms trafficking was a devout gun-grabber who was lauded by the Brady Bunch and pushed for an “assault weapons” ban.
  • Yee is also accused of pay-for-play legislative favors and trying to do an end-run around campaign finance laws.
  • Yee wasn’t just against guns, he also ranted against violent video games, despite evidently stealing criminal syndicate ideas from Grant Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.
  • Yee is the third Democratic California state senator indicted in the past year, along with State Senator Ron Calderon and State Senator Roderick Wright, who has actually been convicted of eight felony counts of voter fraud, and who Democrats refuse to force to resign.
  • Funny how one-party Democratic rule leads to corruption, isn’t it?
  • Chow isn’t just a gangster, he’s a gangster who has his profile in the encyclopedia of gangsters. In other news, there’s an encyclopedia of gangsters (though it seems to be pretty focused on Californian and Asian gangs).


  • Chow has a really extensive rap sheet:

    In 1978 Shrimp Boy was founded [sic] guilty in 1978 for strong-arm robbery and sentenced to 11 years of which he did 7 years and 4 months…Raymond Chow started running a protution[sic] ring, when he was approached by the leader of the Wah Ching gang “Danny Wong” who ask him to be a part of the Wah organization, but Chow refused.

    On May 31, 1986 Raymond was at a popular night club in Chinatown when a Wah Ching Gang member started an altercation and Chow was accused of 28 counts of assault with a lethal firearm, and attempted murder, Raymond did 3 years behind bars and was released in 1989.

    (Extensive details of shifting Asian gang allegiances omitted.)

    Until 1992, when Chow was apprehended for racketeering which was then divided into 2 different trials. The initial trial for firearm trafficking and the 2nd for prostitution, drug, money laundering, unlawful gambling functions, arson, hire for murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Raymond was pronounced guilty in 1995, Chow was penalized and sentenced to 24 years on 6 counts of firearm-trafficking.

  • Seeing some reports that Chow’s previous indictments included ones for male prostitution, which is pretty unusual (even for San Francisco), but I’m not sure how well sourced those reports are.
  • Chow has a Facebook page:

    It takes a special kind of gangster to carry off that look.


    And here he is with former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom:

  • According to the official indictment, Chow is still a Chinese citizen. Why was he not deported after serving his first felony sentence? The moment he got out of prison the first time he should have been on a plane back to Hong Kong.
  • Iowahawk’s Twitter feed linked the indictment papers with this observation:

  • Tam says the indictment “reads like a Tarantino production of an Elmore Leonard novel.” Or something out of Paul Malmont’s The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril, which I happen to be reading right now. I suspect the books collection of (real) 1930s pulp writers would be amazed to learn that Chinese criminal tongs were still alive and well in 2014…
  • The indictment (which I’m still reading) also mentions the indictment of Keith Jackson, the former former president of the San Francisco Board of Education, on a murder for hire charge.
  • Here’s a more detailed piece on Chong and Chinatown gang boss Peter Chong. Chong’s house was struck by arson the same night he hosted a concert by sex-bomb Hong Kong actress Amy Yip, who made her bones in movies like Chinese Erotic Ghost Story and Sex and Zen, and who was known far and wide for her tremendous, uh, talents.

    Here you can see more of her fabulous talents:


  • Of course, if Yee was trafficking arms to foreigners, it brings up one important question: Why wasn’t he already working for Obama’s Department of Justice?

    Edited to add: Dwight has done another update, and Yee was evidently willing to sell shoulder-fired rockets to Islamic rebels for $2 million. Wow, this story really does have everything!

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