For the LATimes, Chris Megerian, Richard Winton and Matt Stevens report: The public corruption and arms-trafficking allegations levied against state Sen. Leland Yee on Wednesday may have shocked some, but to those who have kept an eye on the criminal underworld of the San Francisco area, it came as little surprise that the most colorful figure in the indictment was a man authorities say is an ostentatious gangster known as “Shrimp Boy.”
“You could always count on one thing, that he was up to something no good… used to doing things his own way and getting things his own way…. He was always an organizer; he was always a person who was behind the scenes.”
— Ignatius Chinn, former California Department of Justice agent
Raymond Chow, who has been in and out of prison for his roles in the San Francisco Chinatown underworld since the mid-1970s, also identifies himself as the “dragon head” of a Freemason organization that was among several places raided early Wednesday by federal and local law enforcement officials. Also among them was Yee’s three-story home in San Francisco.
All told, 26 people were identified in the complaint as having violated federal statutes. They were accused of participating in a free-ranging criminal ring that dabbled in a spectrum of activity, including illegal marijuana “grows” and a scheme to transport stolen liquor to China. Read the rest of this entry »