Doing a bill search for Sen. Leland Yee and typing in guns or weapons doesn’t turn up a lot. He had a bill that proposed expanding the definition of assault-style rifles already banned in California. Included in this definition are replaceable magazines for both rifles and pistols that hold more than 10 rounds.
The legislation has not passed.
His other bill is for a state agency to study guns safes and what other states do about regulating them. It also has not passed.
Yee also is known for a 2005 law prohibiting the sale of extremely violent video games to California minors, which was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011.
He also advocated for campaign finance reform and got the Public Records Act applied to a private foundation associated with California State University, Stanislaus, because he wanted to know how much Sarah Palin was being paid to speak to the alumni group.
The FBI arrested Yee on March 26 in San Francisco, along with his “campaign consultant,” Keith Jackson, and Chinese gang leader Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.
The affidavit details Yee agreeing to connect an FBI undercover officer with a gun runner in exchange for campaign cash — $6,800 upfront and $100,000 on delivery of weapons including automatic weapons (not semi-automatic), commonly known as machine guns or machine pistols, and rocket launchers.
Oh, boy, let’s study gun safes for rocket launchers.
Jackson, along with his son, Brandon Jackson, and another man named Marlon Sullivan, are accused of murder for hire. Keith Jackson is a former board president of the San Francisco Board of Education, where he tried to require students to read four to seven books by nonwhite authors every year. The Board of Education decided against a quota.
In all, 26 people are accused besides Yee, Jackson and “Shrimp Boy” Chow. Chow had pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in 2000 and was sentenced to 160 months. He was released in 2003, after testifying against fellow leader of the Hop Sing Boys gang, Peter Chong. Chow claimed to have turned over a new leaf, but, according to the FBI, he became the sole leader of the Hop Sing Boys and became leader of the Ghee Kung Tong, or Chinese free masons. He became its “dragon head” after Allen Leung was shot to death in 2006. That murder remains unsolved. He also holds “supreme authority” in the Triad, described by the San Francisco Chronicle as a international Chinese organized crime group.
Among the charges being faced by the 26 — besides Yee, Jackson, Jackson and Sullivan — are another person charged with murder for hire, gun trafficking, interstate transportation of stolen property, conspiracy to distribute narcotics and conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Four of the 26 are only accused of money laundering. Those four look like potential witnesses. Three out of the four are part of the Ghee Kung Tong Chinese brotherhood the FBI says is being run as a criminal enterprise.
Our compliments to the FBI for an incredible multi-year undercover operation. One of its undercover guys passed himself off a member of La Cosa Nostra and was “inducted” into the Chinatown gang group as a consultant. They pushed Yee as frankly as the fictional agent in the movie American Hustle and Yee played coy but agreed with every request.
Gangs have been a longtime problem in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Gang warfare between the Joe Boys and the Wah Ching led to the 1977 massacre at the Golden Dragon Restaurant in 1977 that killed five people and injured 11. None of those shot were gang members. The restaurant reopened but was shut down for Health Department violations in 2006. It later reopened as the Imperial Palace Restaurant. The Golden Dragon massacre led to the formation of an Asian gangs task force in the San Francisco Police Department.
Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow came here from Hong Kong in 1976 at age 16 and would later claim to control all Asian gangs in San Francisco.
The state ballot statements have already been printed, so Yee will remain on the ballot, though he has withdrawn as a candidate for California secretary of state. He was suspended from the Senate, though he will continue receiving a paycheck, just not the per diem.
It looks like the FBI has put a big chunk of the Chinatown’s gangs out of commission. We’re not under any illusion that they won’t be replaced by new gangs. We also haven’t seen the end of corrupt legislators. One has been convicted for voter fraud and Yee makes the second state senator to face felony corruption charges from the FBI.
What was shocking about the San Francisco arrest was having a state senator accused of not just bribery but gun trafficking.