Calif. Pol Busted on Charges of Arms Trafficking

Leland Yee arrested in ring that also includes gangsters
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2014 7:30 AM CDT
Calif. Pol Busted on Charges of Arms Trafficking
Attorney Paul DeMeester, right, who is representing Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, speaks with reporters outside the San Francisco Federal building Wednesday, March 26, 2014, in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

There's your everyday corruption, and then there's what California state Sen. Leland Yee has been accused of. The FBI arrested Yee yesterday on sweeping corruption and arms smuggling charges, the LA Times reports. The affidavit names 26 people in all—including prominent political consultant Keith Jackson, and a notorious gangster known as "Shrimp Boy." Jackson was raising money for Yee, and told an undercover FBI agent posing as a donor that Yee had a contact who could smuggle guns through a port in New Jersey.

Yee also allegedly solicited illegally large donations in exchange for favors. For example, he took $6,800 for convincing the legislature to formally praise the Ghee Kung Tong Freemason lodge—where Shrimp Boy, aka Raymond Chow, is the "dragon head." Agents raided that lodge yesterday, along with Yee's home and office and other locations. Others in the operation are also accused of money laundering, murder for hire, cigarette smuggling, and drug distribution, the San Francisco Examiner reports. Yee was released on $500,000 bond yesterday after appearing shackled in court. The senator had been a leading candidate for secretary of state and was known for his tough stance on gun control. He wasn't the only US politician sporting handcuffs yesterday. (More Leland Yee stories.)

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