A powerful Democratic California state Senator is facing charges of wire fraud of honest services and conspiracy to traffic firearms, according to court documents obtained by KPIX. State Sen. Leland Yee (D), who is currently running as a Democratic candidate for California secretary of state, was arrested Wednesday during a series of federal raids that took place early in the day.
According to the criminal complaint obtained by KPIX, 26 people were charged in the case, including Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, who has been described in the press as a “notorious” former San Francisco gangster. In the complaint, Chow is the “Dragonhead” of the Chee Kung Tong, an organization known as the Chinese Freemasons, and which is described as having been “of interest” to law enforcement since at least 2006. The complaint also lays out the nature of the firearms trafficking charge against Yee.
According to the document, Yee and a California political consultant named Keith Jackson have been soliciting campaign donations from undercover FBI agents since 2012. In August 2013, Jackson told an agent that Yee had a contact who deals in arms trafficking. Jackson allegedly asked for a campaign donation, in return for Yee facilitating a meeting with the arms dealer. The guns were to come into the country through Newark, N.J. During a meeting with the undercover agent and Jackson, Yee even allegedly went as far as discussing “certain details” about the specific weapons the agent was interested in buying and importing.