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UPDATED: State Sen. Leland Yee Arrested in Public Corruption Case

By Bay City News Service

 Federal authorities have unsealed a criminal complaint in San Francisco Wednesday alleging charges including drug trafficking, gun running, money laundering and murder for hire against 26 people, including state Sen. Leland Yee.

 The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Yee Wednesday morning, along with infamous Chinatown gang leader Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow. Chow is the president of the Supreme Lodge of Chinese Free Masons in San Francisco.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Chow's criminal rap sheet dates back to the 1970s, and includes previous convictions for racketeering, drug trafficking, attempted murder, arson, robbery, gambling and extortion.

 The complaint unsealed Wednesday alleges that between 2012 and 2014, Yee offered to use his office to do favors for undercover FBI agents in exchange for money that would fund his Secretary of State campaign.

 The U.S. Attorney's office says one instance of such an offer happened after Yee lost the November 2011 election for mayor of San Francisco.

 In an effort to retire at least $70,000 in debt accrued during the campaign, authorities say Yee agreed to help push a contract under consideration with the state Department of Public Health.   He allegedly called a manager at the department, and sent an official letter in support of the contract, which was to benefit an undercover FBI agent. In exchange, authorities say Yee accepted a $10,000 campaign donation.

Official charges against Yee include six counts of attempting to defraud citizens of honest services, and conspiracy to traffic in, and illegally import firearms.

 Maximum penalties for the firearms charges include 10 years in prison and $500,000 in fines. Penalties for each of the fraud charges could carry a penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

 Yee represents Senate District 8, which includes the western half of San Francisco and most of San Mateo County. He declared his candidacy for secretary of state in 2012 when his term in the state senate was up, and he was on the ballot for November's election.


Original Story as Follows:

State Senator Leland Yee, who represents much of the San Francisco Peninsula area, has been arrested on public corruption charges, it's being reported.  

His arrest is linked with Federal Bureau of Investigation activity throughout the Bay Area Wednesday morning, with federal raids and arrest warrants happening in various locations, according to an FBI spokesman.

Yee is scheduled to appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m., FBI spokesman Peter Lee said.

According to CBS San Francisco, Yee was arrested at his San Francisco home Wednesday morning.  He was driven to the federal courthouse, which was caught on camera in the above news clip.

“Hundreds of officers are involved in this,” San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said to the local CBS News affiliate, describing the operation as "massive."

Five uniformed agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation left the Chinatown's Ghee Kung Tong Supreme Lodge in San Francisco just after 10 a.m., where they arrested Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, who has a lengthy prior criminal history dating back to the 1970s and connections to Chinatown-based gangs, Lee added.

One of the agents carried a bullet-proof vest in her hands as she exited the red building that houses the Chinese Freemasons of the World at 36 Spofford St.

At around 11:30, a small group of San Francisco firefighters brought into the Ghee Kung Tong building a circular saw and a hand-held Jaws of Life tool. They declined to offer details on why the equipment was needed.

Officers told CBS that there are "a number" of local jurisdictions involved in the raids, but said there is no public safety threat.  

Another part of the operation was unfolding in San Mateo, at a home on 42nd Avenue and Alameda De Las Pulgas.

"A moving van was seen at the home removing boxes of items," CBS reported.

Sen. Yee, a democrat, represents San Francisco and San Mateo counties in Senate District 8.


--Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

Jerry A. March 28, 2014 at 09:00 AM
Read the 137 page indictment Ramona. Their is no defense for Yee. That is why his defense attorney is not posturing on the press
Desert Rat March 28, 2014 at 06:51 PM
Anybody who criticizes Leland Yee is racist. Felonies not withstanding....
Hutch March 29, 2014 at 12:10 AM
What's the difference between Leland Yee doing favors for political contributions and other politicians doing favors to unions and corporations? The whole system is rigged to screw taxpayers. They need to stop all personal gifts and corporate donations including unions.
Hutch March 31, 2014 at 05:19 PM
It's time for this crap to stop. Send Jerry Hill a message Senator.Hill@senate.ca.gov Tell him to change laws to stop all "gifts" and stop contributions by lobbyists, corporations and unions. Also if a politician is suspended they should lose all pay and benefits unless they are later exonerated.

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