Jury Convicts Raymond ‘Shrimp Boy’ Chow in Chinatown Racketeering, Murder Case

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Prosecutors said Chow ordered the slaying of the head of a Chinese fraternal organization with criminal ties that Chow then took over. They also charged him with conspiracy to murder another rival.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) —  Sudhin Thanawala reports: A jury convicted a key defendant Friday of racketeering, murder and scores of other counts after a years-long federal undercover investigation centered in the Chinatown district of San Francisco that also ensnared a California state senator.

“Investigators say Chow used the organization as a front for drug trafficking, money laundering and the sale of stolen cigarettes and alcohol. He was convicted of all 162 counts against him, most of which involved money laundering and theft.”

Defendant Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, in a black sports coat and tie, stared straight ahead and showed no reaction as the verdicts were announced. He could face life in prison during his March 23 sentencing.

Defense attorneys said they plan an appeal, claiming Senior District Judge Charles Breyer unfairly limited their case by refusing to let a number of witnesses testify and did not appear to be paying attention during the trial. Breyer did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Defense attorney J. Tony Serra said Chow was “noble in his acceptance of defeat” and told his attorneys they would prevail in the next round.

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“The agent, who testified under a false name, said he wined and dined Chow and his associates for years. Chow willingly accepted envelopes stuffed with thousands of dollars in cash for setting up various crimes, including illegal liquor and tobacco sales.”

Prosecutors said Chow ordered the slaying of the head of a Chinese fraternal organization with criminal ties that Chow then took over. They also charged him with conspiracy to murder another rival.

Investigators say Chow used the organization as a front for drug trafficking, money laundering and the sale of stolen cigarettes and alcohol. He was convicted of all 162 counts against him, most of which involved money laundering and theft.

[Read the full story here, at The Seattle Times]

The prosecution’s main witness against Chow was an undercover FBI agent who posed as a foul-mouthed East Coast businessman with mafia ties while infiltrating Chow’s organization.

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The agent, who testified under a false name, said he wined and dined Chow and his associates for years. Chow willingly accepted envelopes stuffed with thousands of dollars in cash for setting up various crimes, including illegal liquor and tobacco sales, the agent said. Read the rest of this entry »


REVOKED: Twin Peaks Restaurant Stripped of Franchise Rights After Waco Shooting

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Twin Peaks has revoked the franchise rights for a restaurant in Waco, Texas, that was the scene of a shootout involving rival motorcycle gangs that left nine bikers dead and 18 injured.

“Van Warner said in a statement that the management team chose to ignore warnings and advice from the company, and did not establish the ‘high security standards’ that the company requires.”

Company spokesman Rick Van Warner confirmed Monday that the Waco venue’s franchise agreement will be terminated.

The restaurant only opened last August and Waco police say it has since been the scene of several biker gang gatherings. Police say restaurant managers did not cooperate when authorities expressed concern about those gatherings.

Van Warner said in a statement that the management team chose to ignore warnings and advice from the company, and did not establish the “high security standards” that the company requires.

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About 170 gang members were arrested in the aftermath of Sunday’s shooting.

About 170 motorcycle gang members charged with engaging in organized crime are each being held on a $1 million bond in the wake of a deadly shootout in Texas, and authorities say capital murder charges are expected.

McLennan County Justice of the Peace W.H. Peterson set the bond Monday for each suspect and described the amount as “appropriate” given the level of violence that occurred a day earlier at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco. Read the rest of this entry »


Sweden: Several Dead at Gothenburg Pub, Criminal Gangs in Biskopsgaarden Suspected

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There have been dozens of shootings involving criminal gangs in Gothenburg, many of them in the Biskopsgaarden area, a housing estate with a large immigrant population and high unemployment

Several people were killed and more wounded after at least one gunman armed with an automatic weapon opened fire in a pub in western Sweden late Wednesday, police said, with the death toll expected to rise.

“There was a shooting in a pub. There have been several fatalities and a number of the injured have been brought to hospital…An automatic weapon was used…we can’t rule out that it’s gang-related. We’ve had problems for some time with gang crime in this area.”

— Police spokeswoman Ulla Brehm

“There was a shooting in a pub. There have been several fatalities and a number of the injured have been brought to hospital,” police spokeswoman Ulla Brehm told AFP.

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[Also see At Least 8 People Injured After Shooting at Shopping Mall in Goteborg, Sweden]

“An automatic weapon was used… we can’t rule out that it’s gang-related. We’ve had problems for some time with gang crime in this area,” she added.

“I didn’t have time to think what was happening. Then I saw that my friend was bleeding. I tried to stop the flow of blood as well as I could with my hands.”

— A man who gave his name as “Rocky” to public broadcaster SVT

An eyewitness told tabloid Aftonbladet that two people entered the pub in the Gothenburg suburb of Biskopsgaarden with weapons that looked like Kalashnikovs and started shooting.

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“We were sitting watching the football game when the shooters came in,” the witness said.

Another witness described how fast the shootings occurred.

“I didn’t have time to think what was happening. Then I saw that my friend was bleeding. I tried to stop the flow of blood as well as I could with my hands,” a man who gave his name as “Rocky” told public broadcaster SVT.

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Police did not confirm the number of gunmen but said in a statement that the death toll was expected to rise.

Emergency services told newspaper GT that eight people were brought to hospital by ambulance and other Swedish media reported two dead. Read the rest of this entry »


Wired to Haze: Part of our Evolved Psychology?

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 writes: Hazing may have once been a way to protect members of an established community from the threats of newcomers, a new study suggests.

It happens in military units, street gangs, and athletic teams. In some cultures, the rituals mark the transition from adolescence to adulthood. And in fraternities and sororities, it’s practically a given.

“Hazing exists in radically different cultures around the world, and the ethnographic record is replete with examples of initiation rites that include hazing,” says Aldo Cimino, a lecturer in the department of anthropology at University of California, Santa Barbara.

“It is a practice that cultures continually rediscover and invest themselves in. The primary goal of my research is to understand why,” says Cimino, whose study is published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.

Hazing vs. bullying

One hypothesis Cimino is exploring involves evolved psychology. “The human mind may be designed to respond to new group members in a variety of ways, and one of those ways may be something other than a hug,” he says.

Read the rest of this entry »