anti-gun SF legislator selling guns to Chinese Freemasons

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anti-gun SF legislator selling guns to Chinese Freemasons

Postby operator kos » Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:54 pm

:popcorn:

http://www.goldengatexpress.org/2014/03/26/california-senator-leland-yee-arrested-corruption-charges/

California State Senator Leland Yee was arrested at his 24th Ave. home in a large-scale federal investigation this morning on charges that include corruption and conspiracy to illegally import and deal firearms.

Yee and others “were involved in a scheme to defraud the citizens of California of their rights to honest services, and Senator Yee, Lim and Keith Jackson were involved in a conspiracy to traffic firearms,” according to an affidavit of Special Agent Emmanuel V. Pascua, filed by San Francisco’s U.S. District Court.

According to the document, the investigation began five years ago, when an undercover FBI agent was introduced to to a “high-level member” of the Chee Kung Tong Criminal Enterprise (CKT).

The FBI raids also targeted Raymond Chow, president of the Ghee Kung Tong fraternal organization and a former member of the American branch of the Hong Kong-based triad Wo Hop To. According to the affidavit, Chow is believed to currently hold a “489,” or supreme authority position in the internationally-based Chinese organized crime group, the Triad.

Chow was sentenced to 25 years in prison due to gun charges in 1995 but was released two years later after agreeing to testify against other high ranking members of the organization. He also was involved in “such activities as heroin and cocaine trafficking, attempted murder, arson, robbery, gambling, and extortionate credit transactions” according to the affidavit.

FBI agents and a police officer stand in front of the Ghee Kung Tong temple and Chinese Freemasons building in Chinatown on Wednesday, March 26 during an FBI raid following the arrest of Senator Leland Yee earlier this morning. Photo by Jessica Christian / Xpress

According to FBI Special Agent Michael Gimbel, “the FBI is executing numerous arrests and search warrants around the Bay Area.” Included in this mornings raids are Yee’s Sacramento office, his home on 24th Avenue in San Francisco’s Sunset District, a building on the 1700 block of Hyde Street and the Ghee Kung Tong Chinese Freemason Lodge in Chinatown.

Senator Yee received his master’s degree from SF State after getting a bachelor’s at the University of California at Berkeley and is currently running for Secretary of State.

An FBI agent removes what seems to be evidence after raiding the Ghee Kung Tong temple and Chinese Freemasons building in Chinatown on Wednesday, March 26 following the arrest of Senator Leland Yee earlier this morning.
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Re: anti-gun SF legislator selling guns to Chinese Freemason

Postby cptmarginal » Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:46 pm

Really fascinating. Reminds me of the conversation in the World Vision thread further down this page...

Anyone who hasn't seen Hong Kong auteur Johnnie To's Election films, particularly the first one which controversially shows a Triad handshake onscreen, do yourself a favor.

http://www.filmcomment.com/article/mean ... -interview

Triads have a long history in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and their complicated, quasi-historical ceremonies and rules have given them a mythical edge. Suspected of starting anti-British riots in the Sixties, the triads have long been feared by the Hong Kong government. Depicting their hand signals, ceremonies, or language onscreen results in either outright censorship or instantly earns the film a Category III rating (Hong Kong's NC-17). Casting Tony Leung Kar-fai (The Lovers), Simon Yam Tat-wah (The Mission), Lam Suet (The Mission), and Wong Tin-lam (father of Hong Kong's leading schlock director, Wong Jing), Johnnie To is not only insisting on authentic triad language in Election, but its poster, depicting triad hand signals, has already been banned in Hong Kong.

How did this movie originate?

It's a film I wanted to shoot for a long time. Hong Kong triads originated from the "Heaven and Earth Society" 300 years ago, and they've existed throughout the time of the Ching Dynasty, the Nationalist Party, and the Communist Party today. I wanted to show this unwritten history.

But the movie is set in modern day Hong Kong?

Yes. And the triad society has always changed, based on the political situation of the era. There were the riots of the Fifties and Sixties, then there were the negotiations between the British and Chinese government in the Eighties, and then the handover in 1997. All these things have had an impact on triad society. The British government tried to crack down on the triads, and they destroyed the Walled City of Kowloon. Today, the societies are dealing with the Mainland Government. There has always been a close relationship between politics and triads.

There have been dozens, if not hundreds, of triad films shot in Hong Kong. How is Election different?

In the past, Hong Kong gangster movies have been based on issues of honor and loyalty. They are about heroes - extraordinary individuals - and no one has taken a look at why the system itself has lasted. The triad society is a bit like a religion. I'm looking at how the system works. It's existed for so long, and people sense the power within this type of community. This film is about the selfishness of human beings when they want power badly. Triad society is a world of outrageousness, it's out of control, but they are disciplined internally by their own set of rules. But when things get out of hand, when people are only after power and profit, they will cross the line and become inhuman.


There's a whole complex back story to where the Triads (and related similar groups) fit into Chinese society and history that I'm not doing justice to by what I'm about to say. But, superficially, their "complicated, quasi-historical ceremonies and rules" and the compartmentalized organizations that are bound together by them are not really all that different from some versions of Freemasonry.

In any case, it's difficult to research the connection between modern Chinese society and Freemasonry (Mao purportedly having been initiated into a Grand Orient lodge, for example) without running into rampant right-wing racism and unsubstantiated kindergarten-level theorizing. But there's actually a lot to learn on this topic if one looks further; no easy answers, though.

http://euclidlodge158.com/documents/Fre ... nChina.pdf

Chinese Societies with Similarities to Freemasonry

As described above, ancient Chinese teachings have some similarities to Masonic teachings. Therefore, it is not surprising that societies have existed in China with signs, symbols and rituals similar to Freemasonry.

At a meeting of the District Grand Lodge of Northern China, EC, held in Shanghai in 1914, R.W.Bro. Robert S. Ivy made the suggestion that while Masons recognize Landmarks, including the first and foremost belief in the GAOTU, and recognize the Volume of the Sacred Law, the Chinese Freemasons belong to another Society which had no connection with the Craft. He also strongly suggests members of the Craft be careful not to permit innovations to Masonic Landmarks.

The Tong of Chinese Freemasonry called the "Hung Mung" or "Gate of Heaven" dates from the early days of trading in the Orient, including the East India Company. The Chinese copied the signs of recognition as well as other work from the foreigners. The word 'tong' incidentally, originally denoted a hall or meeting place where family or village elders traditionally made important decisions.

The Triad

The Triad Society derived its name from the conjunction of the three great powers in nature espoused by Confucius and his followers: heaven, earth and man. Thus, it has been known as the Society of Heaven and Earth. It is the most famous society similar to Masonry and is known as the Hung Mung Society. Its history allegedly dates back, under various names and in an unbroken succession to 386 AD.

Among the 'Working Tools' used by the Triad are the twelve inch gauge. They call their Worshipful Master, a 'Great Brother', while the Senior and Junior Wardens are referred to as the 'Second Brother'. A 'First Point ' and a 'Second Point' correspond to our Senior and Junior Deacons [or Inner and Outer Guard]. Their three degrees are known as 'affiliated younger brother, 'obligated elder brother,' and 'obligated uncle.' The Society has a Book of Constitution, issues certificates, and gives badges to each member in the form of a medal to be carried with him.

While the Hung Society has many similarities to Freemasonry, it has been considered more akin to the 'higher degrees'. It has a paper 'chop' on which a character is the written word 'Keh" which is purported to mean a 'pillar' and has a further meaning which is 'to establish firmly'. This Society has three Great principles of brotherly love, relief and truth, together with severe penalties for violations. The Oaths are as severe as the requirements of the Ancient Charges.

During the initiation, the candidate is given a piece of parchment with thirty-six separate items. These constitute the obligation he is about to take and must be memorized. Amongst the severe penalties: that he be killed by a tiger, have his eyes bitten out by a snake; that he be hanged; that the spirit of his ancestors be cursed and damned; and, that his progeny exist in the deepest misery and want for a thousand generations. Since 1830, the famous, or infamous Hung Society is the most powerful Triad or Secret Society in all of China. In addition to having lodges in China, it has lodges as far away as Java, the Indian Archipelago and Singapore.


Anyway, just spotted this and am about to watch it:

Watch Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow’s episode of History Channel’s “Gangland”

The new way of thinking is precisely delineated by what it is not.
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Re: anti-gun SF legislator selling guns to Chinese Freemason

Postby cptmarginal » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:00 pm

The episode, which aired on March 20, 2008, tells charming stories like the time Chow claims he shot a classmate at Galileo High “in the ass” and a stint in San Quentin where he made friends with Charles Manson (“I did time with a bunch of amazing people”).
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Re: anti-gun SF legislator selling guns to Chinese Freemason

Postby cptmarginal » Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:24 am

Anyone who hasn't seen Hong Kong auteur Johnnie To's Election films, particularly the first one which controversially shows a Triad handshake onscreen, do yourself a favor.


Actually I was remembering it wrong; the Johnnie To movie with the infamous handshake scene was Exiled.

"The film was awarded a Category III rating (18+ restriction), particularly for one scene showing Simon Yam's character shaking hands with another gangster with their left hands turned around, making a triads agreement handshake. The scene is present on the Mega-Star uncut Limited Edition DVD. However, only the Category IIB cut version was released in Hong Kong theatrically."

Though Election shows the actual initiation ceremony in intimate detail and is a much more realistic & damning portrayal of the Triads, that handshake was the cause for concern from censors.

The FBI raids also targeted Raymond Chow, president of the Ghee Kung Tong fraternal organization and a former member of the American branch of the Hong Kong-based triad Wo Hop To. According to the affidavit, Chow is believed to currently hold a “489,” or supreme authority position in the internationally-based Chinese organized crime group, the Triad.

Chow was sentenced to 25 years in prison due to gun charges in 1995 but was released two years later after agreeing to testify against other high ranking members of the organization. He also was involved in “such activities as heroin and cocaine trafficking, attempted murder, arson, robbery, gambling, and extortionate credit transactions” according to the affidavit.


The impression I got from watching that bullshit History Channel show was that his rank would be lower. Particularly because he was handpicked as a lieutenant by senior members in Hong Kong in the first place, and also because he had cooperated with authorities in exchange for a reduced prison sentence in the recent past.

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Re: anti-gun SF legislator selling guns to Chinese Freemason

Postby cptmarginal » Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:29 am

This was part of a larger national initiative, though the cases are apparently unrelated:

FBI Public Corruption Probes Lead To Raids, Arrests In Three Separate States

Federal law enforcement agents arrested California state Sen. Leland Yee (D) and Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon (D), and raided the offices of New York state Assemblyman William Scarborough (D) in connection with unrelated corruption investigations on Wednesday.

Yee was arrested at his home Wednesday morning and indicted on public corruption and bribery charges. Hundreds of FBI, IRS and local police officers also raided offices in the San Francisco Bay area and arrested several people, including Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, former head of a Hong Kong-based crime gang. Both Yee, a candidate for California secretary of state, and Chow were scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins in San Francisco Wednesday afternoon.

Cannon, the mayor of Charlotte, N.C., was also arrested Wednesday and faces charges of theft and bribery. Following a four-year investigation, authorities accused Cannon, who has been mayor for less than six months, of accepting bribes five times from undercover federal agents.

“Between January 2013 and February 2014, Cannon allegedly accepted from the undercover agents more than $48,000 in cash, airline tickets, a hotel room, and use of a luxury apartment in exchange for the use of his official position,” the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement Wednesday.

In New York, Scarborough was questioned by federal agents at his Albany hotel room about inappropriate per diem reimbursements while agents raided his offices.

Scarborough called the FBI raid the result of a “tabloid hit job” on Wednesday, according to Capital New York.

“I'm innocent, but I understand the reality,” Scarborough told reporters. “I don't know what's going to go on. I am going to talk to a lawyer, this is just stunning to me.”

New York state Sens. John Sampson (D) and Malcolm Smith (D) are also under federal indictment on corruption charges.

Sampson was indicted in February for allegedly lying to FBI agents about his involvement with a liquor store in which he was a secret partner.

The Brooklyn Democrat also allegedly ordered a Senate staff member to lobby the Department of Taxation and Finance for a reduction on the previous owner’s outstanding debt on the store, advising the staff member to "do it on your cell phone and do it on your own time," according to the indictment.

Smith was charged last year by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in two separate corruption schemes, including an alleged bid to buy a place on New York City's mayoral election ballot.

Earlier this week, Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox (D) resigned from his leadership post and announced that he will not run for re-election following a federal raid on his Statehouse office and home the previous day.
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Re: anti-gun SF legislator selling guns to Chinese Freemason

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:23 pm

Interesting to note the power dynamics of an FBI that monitors "public corruption" 24-7 and makes occasional sweeps at their convenience, depending upon the vagarities of political headwinds and news cycles.
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Re: anti-gun SF legislator selling guns to Chinese Freemason

Postby cptmarginal » Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:57 am

Wondering about the identities of the "East Coast mobster," the "Atlanta-based real estate developer" and his 10 associates, the "high-tech executive," and the "international arms dealer."

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-New ... rnia-sting

The FBI began investigating a prominent California politician three years ago when ex-convict-turned-community-activist Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow introduced the politician's fundraiser to an associate, an East Coast Mafia figure, according to a federal complaint.

But the purported mobster was, in fact, an undercover FBI operative working to infiltrate the Chinatown fraternal group controlled by Chow and thought to be a front for a notorious Asian gang

After that May 25, 2011, meeting, though, the government quickly expanded its organized criminal investigation to target California state Sen. Leland Yee as well, setting up an elaborate sting operation using more than a dozen undercover agents operating from Hawaii, San Francisco, Sacramento and Atlanta.

"Sting operations usually have a little more credibility with jurors because you have FBI agents on one end of the transaction," Stanford University law professor Robert Weisberg said. "The agents also can script the conversations to ensure there is no ambiguity."

On Wednesday, Yee, Chow and two dozen other people connected to Chow's organization were charged with a wide-range of crimes.

The state Senate suspended Yee on Friday, a day after he announced he was dropping his campaign for California secretary of state.

Yee, D-San Francisco, is charged with bribery and setting up a cash-for-guns campaign contribution scheme in a case that started with that initial meeting in 2011 between Chow, the undercover agent and Keith Jackson, Yee's chief fundraiser and longtime political consultant.

Immediately after that meeting, Jackson began pressing the undercover agent for campaign contributions because Yee was running for mayor of San Francisco in an election to be held in November 2011. The undercover agent told Jackson he wasn't interested in helping Yee but had an Atlanta-based real estate developer who was looking for political help in California.

Jackson and the real estate developer quickly struck up a relationship, and the developer in September 2011 contributed $500, the maximum individual campaign contribution allowed. Yee called the developer three times over the next two days seeking more money.

The real estate developer, too, was an undercover FBI agent.

On Oct. 11, 2011, the developer hand-delivered a $5,000 check to Jackson made out to "Jackson Consultancy" but insisted it was meant for Yee. Two days later, the developer set up a "meet and greet" with 10 associates to meet with Yee. Each associate wrote Yee a $500 check. Each associate was an undercover FBI agent.

Yee lost the election and was left with a $70,000 debt.

By 2012, Yee and the developer were in constant contact, the complaint states. By this time, Yee was scrambling to retire his mayoral campaign debt so he could launch his run for California secretary of state.

The developer introduced Yee to a high-tech executive who was trying to win a contract from the California Department of Public Health. Yee is charged with agreeing to help the high-tech executive — another undercover FBI agent — with the contract in exchange for campaign contributions. Yee did call and write the person purportedly in charge of the contract decision, who was yet another undercover agent. On Nov. 19, 2012, the developer through the purported mobster gave Jackson $10,000 in cash allegedly meant for Yee.

The next year, on Jan. 22, Jackson introduced the East Coast mobster to Yee. The mobster portrayed himself to Yee as a "private wealth manager."

Over drinks in San Francisco's trendy Waterbar overlooking the San Francisco Bay, the three discussed exchanging campaign contributions for a proclamation honoring Chow's organization, all of which occurred later that year, according to court documents.

But from that meeting arose the most attention-grabbing charge in the case. The trio began to hatch a plan for Yee to connect the undercover agent to an international arms dealer in exchange of campaign contributions.

On Jan. 2, three weeks after the operative handed Jackson a $5,000 check made out to Yee's campaign, the senator met with the undercover agent at a San Francisco coffee shop.

Yee is alleged to have been recorded telling the agent that the arms dealer "has things that you guys want," but cautioned that international gun trafficking was not for "the faint of heart."

The undercover operative told Yee he wanted up $2.5 million in automatic rifles and "shoulder-fired" weapons. He promised to pay Yee hundreds of thousands of dollars once the sales started. Yee said he would appoint the undercover agent to a "Russian delegation" if he won election as California's secretary of state this November.

Publicly, Yee was a gun-control advocate who recently introduced legislation to ban a certain type of gun magazine. But on Feb. 25, Yee told the undercover agent he was "agnostic" about setting up the gun deal.

"People want to get whatever they want to get. Do I care? No, I don't care," Yee was recorded as saying during the dinner meeting. "People need certain things."

Yee was recorded as saying he was unhappy with his life and fantasized about hiding out in the Philippines.

"There is a part of me that wants to be like you," the senator told the purported mobster.

On March 5, Yee said he had located 100 rifles for sale in the Philippines through a Muslim rebel group in need of cash to overthrow the Philippines government.

Nine days later, Yee and the operative met for the last time, with the senator agreeing to forward the mobster's shopping list of guns to his Philippine connection in exchange for a $6,800 campaign contribution.

On March 26, Yee was arrested with 19 others during pre-dawn raids throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. He remains free on $500,000 unsecured bond pending trial, which has yet to be scheduled.

Yee's attorney, Paul F. DeMeester, issued a statement immediately after the Senate vote to suspend Yee. DeMeester said the suspension was "the right step for now" because it acknowledges the presumption of innocence.

Chow and Jackson have been denied bail. Jackson appeared in court Friday, but he did not enter a plea.

"Sometimes cases like this start with a big noise and end quietly," Jackson's attorney, Jim Brosnahan, said in a statement Friday.


Just as an aside, the connection to the Philippines and the Moro people reminds me of Michael Meiring:

http://www.historycommons.org/entity.js ... _meiring_1

US citizen Michael Meiring is suspected of being a CIA operative after injuring himself in an explosion in his own hotel room. Meiring claimed a grenade was thrown into his room, but a Philippine government investigation determined the center of the blast came from an assembled bomb kept in a metal box owned by Meiring. Hotel employees said Meiring told them for weeks not to touch the box while cleaning the room. Additionally, an ID card with his picture on it found in his room lists him as an officer in the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), a Muslim rebel militant group. [KHOU-TV, 12/2/2004] One hour after the bombing in his room, a bomb explodes in a marketplace in the same region, injuring four people. [Agence France-Presse, 5/16/2002] In the two months prior to this explosion in his room, there were several other other explosions in the same region, killing 37 people and injuring 170 more. [Minda News, 5/30/2003] In 2003, a group of Philippine soldiers will mutiny, in part because they believe these bombings were done with the secret approval of the Philippine government, and not done by rebel groups as the government claims (see July 27-28, 2003). A number of Philippine officials speculate Meiring may have been a CIA agent. Those who knew him said that he referred to himself as a CIA agent, but said it stood for “Christ In Action.” He had frequently visited the Philippines for at least ten years. [Minda News, 5/30/2003] He claimed to be a treasure hunter, and had a company called Parousia International Trading (in Christian theology, Parousia is a term for the second coming of Christ). He also had ties to right wing extremists in the US (see 1992-1993). He was said to be very well connected in the Philippines, being visited in his hotel room prior to the explosion by congressmen, a governor, and military officials. He was also connected to militants in the MNLF, Abu Sayyaf, and other groups. He was said to have met with top leaders of these militant groups starting in 1992 (see 1992-1993). One source who knew him said that earlier in the year he had predicted a series of bombings and that his predictions “always came true.” [Minda News, 5/31/2003] Meiring was already a major suspect in the production and distribution of counterfeit US Treasury bills. Over the last few years, billions of dollars worth of fake US Treasury bills were confiscated in the region. [Time, 2/26/2001; BusinessWorld, 5/27/2002] Four days after the explosion, FBI agents take him out of the hospital where he was recovering from severe burns and amputations. According to the Philippine Immigration Deputy Commissioner, agents of the US National Security Council then take him to the capital of Manila. The Financial Times will later report that he returns to the US and is handed over to the CIA. [Manila Times, 5/30/2002; Financial Times, 7/12/2002; Guardian, 8/15/2003] The Guardian will later comment, “Local officials have demanded that Meiring return to face charges, to little effect. BusinessWorld, a leading Philippine newspaper, has published articles openly accusing Meiring of being a CIA agent involved in covert operations ‘to justify the [recent] stationing of American troops and bases in Mindanao.’ The Meiring affair has never been reported in the US press.” [Guardian, 8/15/2003] In 2004, a Houston TV station will trace Meiring back to the US, where he still lives, despite the Philippine government wanting him to be extradited to face a variety of charges related to the explosion (see December 2, 2004).

Entity Tags: Moro National Liberation Front, National Security Council, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, Abu Sayyaf, Michael Meiring
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Re: anti-gun SF legislator selling guns to Chinese Freemason

Postby cptmarginal » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:06 am

Image

Image

In 1992, authorities indicted Chow and 26 others for racketeering, saying Hop Sing was involved in everything from underage prostitution to the international heroin trade.

Chow pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges in 2000 and was sentenced to 160 months in prison but was released in 2003 after he testified against fellow Hop Sing leader Peter Chong.

Chow became the leader of Ghee Kung Tong, or Chinese free masons, in August 2006, six months after its "dragon head," Allen Leung, was shot to death in his Chinatown import-export business. Leung's murder remains unsolved. Chow cut a striking figure at Leung's funeral, wearing a white suit in a sea of black.
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Re: anti-gun SF legislator selling guns to Chinese Freemason

Postby cptmarginal » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:19 am

The building at 36 Spofford that was just raided is somewhat legendary.

Image

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"Sun Yat-sen once plotted the overthrow of China’s Manchu dynasty here at number 36, and during Prohibition, this was the site of turf battles over local bootlegging and protection rackets."

"During his exile, Sun was pursued by agents of the Qing dynasty. His hideout in Chinatown at the headquarters of the Chinese Freemasons at 36 Spofford Alley, was a block from today’s Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, which bakes 20,000 cookies daily."
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Re: anti-gun SF legislator selling guns to Chinese Freemason

Postby cptmarginal » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:44 pm

http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts ... lawyer-gun

State Sen. Leland Yee picks new lawyer in gun, corruption case

By Howard Mintz

Posted: 04/02/2014 12:35:53 PM PDT
Updated: 04/02/2014 04:55:22 PM PDT

State Sen. Leland Yee has turned to a tough former federal and state prosecutor who has handled everything from organized crime cases to murder trials to defend him against federal corruption charges.

Yee on Wednesday signed up San Francisco attorney James Lassart to replace Paul DeMeester, who has represented him since he was charged with gun trafficking and corruption last week. DeMeester told this newspaper that the court would be notified Wednesday of the change in representation.

Lassart, 71, could not immediately be reached for comment.

He may make his first appearance for Yee as soon as next week, when the embattled legislator is scheduled to appear again in court. Federal prosecutors are expected to secure a federal grand jury indictment any time to replace the current set of charges, and Yee and other defendants in the case would have to be arraigned on the new indictment.

Lassart is a senior lawyer with the San Francisco law firm Murphy, Pearson, Bradley & Feeney, handling a mix of cases but heavily involved in recent years in representing police officers in hot water. He recently represented a South San Francisco fire battalion chief charged with running a bookmaking operation and represented San Francisco police officers involved in a notorious off-duty brawl in 2002.

But Lassart is best known in Bay Area legal circles for his work as a prosecutor in both the U.S. attorney's office and San Francisco district attorney's office.

As a federal prosecutor between 1982 and 1986, he headed the organized crime strike force in Northern California. The case against Yee was an outgrowth of an FBI investigation into Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow and his reputed Asian organized crime organization.

Lassart also was in the San Francisco district attorney's office from 1970 to 1982, handling murder cases and rising to a high-ranking assistant district attorney post.

Yee, a San Francisco Democrat, will have a staunch Republican to defend him. Lassart was a finalist for the U.S. attorney's job in 2002 during the Bush administration, but the White House instead selected Kevin Ryan. Lassart had close ties to former Republican U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello.

Other key defendants in the case have also wound up with some well-known defense attorneys in recent days. Martha Boersch, a former white collar prosecutor in the U.S. attorney's office, was appointed Wednesday to represent Chow, and prominent San Francisco lawyer James Brosnahan has been hired to represent Keith Jackson, the San Francisco political consultant tied to Yee's wrongdoing.


They lawyered up good!

Two separate former Assistant U.S. Attorneys who were both chief of the federal organized crime strike force in Northern California. One of whom had a role in the events covered in Gary Webb's Dark Alliance series:

http://archive.is/gNfvm

The OIG interviewed John Gibbons, the Chief of the Criminal Division in the San Francisco U.S. Attorney's Office in 1984. He told the OIG that, because the "frogman case" was an OCDETF case and not a Criminal Division case, he did not supervise or otherwise monitor the case, and he had no involvement in, and never even knew about, the decision to return the seized money to Zavala. Gibbons stated that he never met with anyone from the CIA about this matter.

Jim Lassart, the OCDETF Chief in 1984, recalled that there was a question in the U.S. Attorney's Office about whether "it was worth" chasing witnesses in Central America in the attempt to have the money forfeited. He believed that, in the end, it was decided that litigating the matter would not be cost effective. Although Lassart was not certain who made the decision, he said that no one could have made it without the participation and concurrence of U.S. Attorney Russoniello. Lassart had no recollection of being involved at all in the dealings surrounding the return of the money. He did not specifically recall discussing the issue with either Russoniello or Zanides, but stated that, had he been involved in the matter, he would have discussed it with both. Lassart did not recall meeting or talking with anyone from the CIA about the matter, or hearing from either Zanides or Russoniello of a meeting with anyone from the CIA. He did not recognize the name Lee Strickland. He noted that any attempt by the CIA to intervene in a case would have had to be addressed at the very least with Russoniello, and would more likely have been handled at a higher (Main Justice) level.


http://archive.is/UGBFw

Throughout his career, including a stint in the U.S. attorney general’s office for Northern California, and as a partner at Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley, Lassart continued to serve in the reserves. “I joined JAG after Vietnam. It gave me a chance to learn whole new areas of law: legal assistance, foreign claims, rules of engagement, and the law of war.” He retired as a brigadier general in 1995.

“My military experience has been very important in my civilian career. It taught me how to manage, how to take responsibility, and how to be a caretaker. I learned that people follow orders, they follow people.”
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Re: anti-gun SF legislator selling guns to Chinese Freemason

Postby cptmarginal » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:25 pm

SFWeekly - The Many Faces of Leland Yee: A Politician's Calculated Rise and Dramatic Fall

Image

I just wonder who he pissed off, or who decided that exposing his activities was convenient for their public agenda.
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Re: anti-gun SF legislator selling guns to Chinese Freemason

Postby cptmarginal » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:30 pm

Leland Yee case: 'Shrimp Boy' Chow's lawyer lashes out at feds' probe

But while Chow remains jailed on a scroll of federal criminal charges, his newly-minted legal team, led by famed San Francisco lawyer Tony Serra, is lashing out with a vengeance against the government's case, calling it a compilation of crimes "fabricated" by the FBI with taxpayer money.

Thus far, Yee's lawyer has remained silent on the government's case against the suspended legislator. But at least from Chow's corner, it's game-on with federal prosecutors.

"There's definitely two sides to the story," Serra told reporters Thursday in his North Beach law office, surrounded by Chow backers wearing bright red "Free Shrimp Boy" T-shirts. "Only when the case randomly pointed toward Yee, they had the celebrity defendant they wanted all the time. If Yee hadn't been involved, maybe my client would never have been charged."

[...]

The 54-year-old Chow has a long criminal history, serving time in federal prison for racketeering and other crimes. He was sentenced to 24 years in federal prison in 2000, but served only three years after cooperating in the government's case against reputed Asian organized crime figure Peter Chong.

Chow over the past four years allegedly accepted thousands of dollars in cash from undercover FBI agents for a variety of crimes, according to court papers. But his lawyers point to statements Chow made suggesting he tried to steer clear of crime, such as telling an undercover agent at one point: "That's terrible dude, I don't want to know that, that's illegal stuff."

The government's undercover probe into Chow's organization led to Yee, who was connected indirectly by Keith Jackson, a San Francisco political consultant involved in dealings with Chow and his organization.

The only charge against Yee that specifically connects him to Chow is an allegation he accepted a bribe from an undercover operative to sponsor a resolution lauding Chow's organization. "There is no nexus, no relationship whatsoever" between Chow and Yee, Serra said Thursday.


Image

A really fascinating dude...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Serra

He was the subject of the 1989 movie True Believer about a Chinatown (San Francisco) murder case in which he won an acquittal for Chol Soo Lee, the defendant. He also successfully defended Black Panther leader Huey Newton in a murder trial and represented individuals from groups as diverse and politically charged as the White Panthers, Hells Angels, Earth First!, and New World Liberation Front (NWLF). Some of these individuals include Brownie Mary, Dennis Peron, Hooty Croy, Ellie Nesler, and Symbionese Liberation Army members Sara Jane Olson, Russell Little and Michael Bortin. Serra, in 2004, won an acquittal during a retrial on murder charges for co-defendant Rick Tabish in the death of casino mogul Ted Binion.[1]

Serra won the Trial Lawyer of the Year award in 2003 (by the organization Trial Lawyers for Public Justice), for his successful litigation of Judi Bari against the FBI.[2]

Serra has taken a vow of poverty and is known for living a frugal lifestyle and driving a run-down car.[3] All income from his cases is distributed to other lawyers except for a very small portion that he uses to pay rent and gas.[citation needed] All of his clothes (including suits, briefcases, shoes etc.) are bought secondhand.[4]

Serra has been in trouble with the law several times for failure to pay income taxes. He refused to pay taxes in protest of the War in Iraq, based on his conviction that the Bush administration was leading the country in the wrong direction and that he would therefore not contribute any money to fund what he saw as Bush's corrupt politics.[citation needed] On July 29, 2005, he was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison, to be served at Lompoc, and ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution for a misdemeanor conviction of willful failure to pay taxes.[5] Serra was released from the federal camp in Lompoc, California, in mid-February 2007, reporting immediately to a San Francisco halfway house. He was released from federal custody, and the halfway house, on March 13, 2007, after serving out his sentence [2]. Along with three other attorneys, Serra filed a class-action lawsuit seeking minimum wages for himself and other inmates, citing slave wages as unconstitutional.


High-profile cases

Huey Newton
Black Panthers
White Panthers
Russell Little, Symbionese Liberation Army
New World Liberation Front
Hell's Angels
Chol Soo Lee
Hooty Croy
Brownie Mary
Ellie Nesler
Bear Lincoln
Sara Jane Olson a.k.a. Kathleen Soliah, Symbionese Liberation Army
Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney v. FBI;
Michael Bortin, Symbionese Liberation Army
Rick Tabish (co-defendant Sandy Murphy), Las Vegas Ted Binion case
Rod Coronado, ELF
BALCO, Barry Bonds' trainer Greg Anderson
Jing Hua Wu, 2008 SiPort murders[8]
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Re: anti-gun SF legislator selling guns to Chinese Freemason

Postby cptmarginal » Sat May 31, 2014 9:42 pm

Wondering about the identities of the "East Coast mobster," the "Atlanta-based real estate developer" and his 10 associates, the "high-tech executive," and the "international arms dealer."


http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts ... ept-secret

Leland Yee case: judge orders evidence kept secret

By Howard Mintz
hmintz@mercurynews.com

Posted: 05/20/2014 04:00:11 PM PDT0 Comments
Updated: 05/20/2014 04:14:50 PM PDT


Over the objections of reputed gang figure Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow's lawyers, a federal judge has ordered that the government's evidence in a sweeping criminal case that includes political corruption charges against state Sen. Leland Yee must be kept secret for now.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer imposed the restrictions Monday on every lawyer and defendant in the case, finding the material should be kept under wraps while both sides prepare for trial. Breyer rejected the free speech arguments of Chow's lawyer, J. Tony Serra, who insisted he should be able to reveal evidence to combat the government's public charges.

Under the so-called protective order, dozens of defense lawyers will not be able to disclose evidence they receive from prosecutors, who are required to turn it over under U.S. Supreme Court precedent. The order, however, would not necessarily apply to evidence later contained in publicly filed court documents.

Serra was the only defense lawyer in the case to object to the restriction, although he was joined in his arguments by several media organizations. Chow has been charged with gun trafficking, conspiracy and money laundering in an indictment that includes Yee, the suspended state legislator charged with accepting bribes for political favors.

The indictment is based on a four-year undercover FBI operation that included ongoing wiretapped conversations of the defendants. Breyer found that revealing them could expose undercover agents and unfairly name individuals, including other public officials, who were not implicated in any crimes.

"Such disclosure risks not only bodily harm to undercover agents, but reputational harm to individuals who would be collateral damage," the judge wrote.

Yee and the other defendants are expected back in court in July, when federal prosecutors say they will be unveiling an updated indictment that will include new racketeering charges against some of the targets.
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Re: anti-gun SF legislator selling guns to Chinese Freemason

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:49 pm

Jesus.

Via: https://theoutsidernews.com/articles/20 ... corruption

Shrimp Boy documents examined: A wildfire of San Francisco corruption

By Shawn Gaynor and John Shutt

Court filings revealed yesterday as part of the federal racketeering and corruption case against Raymond 'Shrimp Boy' Chow exposed what appears to be a wide reaching ring of corruption, pay-offs, and patronage that threatens to ensnare a host of San Francisco's top elected officials, and political advisors, including San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

Contained in the dismissal motion reported on yesterday by the San Francisco Examiner, and previously unpublished documents from the case provided below, former Human Rights Commission staffers Zula Jones and Nazly Mohajer appear to have accepted illegal contributions to pay off debts from Ed Lee’s 2011 mayoral campaign from an undercover FBI agent posing as a businessman.

Jones reportedly told an FBI undercover posing as a businessman making an illegal $10,000 campaign donation to Lee, “You got to pay to play here. We got it. We know this. We are the best at this game … better than New York. We do it a little more sophisticated than New Yorkers. We do it without the mafia.

Additionally, filings in the case show an uneasy relationship of threats and intimidation by Chow against former Board of Supervisors chair David Chiu. According to the court documents, Chiu, now a California State Assembly representative, wore a FBI wire to record Chow during the investigation as part of a conflict over Chinatown’s popular Night Market fair.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors chairperson London Breed, former Housing Authority head Henry Alvarez, former school board president Keith Jackson, MTA manager Sululagi Palega, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Sharmin Bock, local NAACP president Amos Brown, and local NAACP vice president Arnold Townsend are also all represented in questionable circumstances in the documents.

The motion by Chow's lawyers to dismiss the federal racketeering and corruption case that has already brought down former California State Senator Leland Yee and others for an international gun running ring, outlines a wide-ranging FBI investigation into San Francisco politics and patronage. Chow's lawyers are motioning for a dismissal of the case based on what they claim has been selective prosecution. Chow’s defense asserts the prosecutors have ignored evidence of wrongdoing by Lee, and a host of top San Francisco Democrats gathered in the course of the investigation.

It's no secret that Mayor Lee has a cozy way of doing business with his friends. While the mayor has denied any wrongdoing, the documents paint a picture of pay-to-play patronage.

Documents detail Lee’s relationship to former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown who is described as mentoring Lee in the political patronage game.

While the dismissal motion in the Chow case has been been covered widely, the document is just one of many documents filed by Chow's lawyers on Aug. 4 that detail the inner workings of city politics. Given the scope of the accusations against Lee and others, we have decided to publish the Aug. 4 court filings in full in order the give the public the deepest possible access into the details of the case.

Highlights from the documents follow. Links to the Aug. 4 documents have been included at the end of the article.

883-main, 883-1, 883-2

This is the motion to dismiss filed by Chow’s lawyers and published yesterday by The Examiner, alleging that US Attorney Melinda Haag is selectively prosecuting Chow while ignoring evidence of corruption by Mayor Lee, his campaign associates, and other members of the San Francisco political elite.

884-main

This gag order forbids defendants from revealing certain kinds of information to the public. Chow’s lawyers claim that Chow does not agree with the protective order, and that it is being misused for political reasons to prevent him from speaking out in the press.

884-1

This document contains 22 previously unpublished excerpts from the investigation into Chow, which spanned to include former State Sen. Leland Yee, former San Francisco School Board president Keith Jackson, Mayor Ed Lee, and many other San Francisco Bay Area political figures. Some of the new details revealed in this document include:

•Former State Sen. Leland Yee told Chow to “lay low” because the FBI felt that Chow was “kicking sand in their faces” (page 1). Yee recently pled guilty to racketeering charges stemming from the case.


•Former Human Rights Commission staffer Zula Jones spoke with an undercover FBI agent about "pay to play" for Mayor Ed Lee, who was "pretty much trained and developed by Willie Brown," the former mayor of San Francisco and current columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle (page 3). Jones asked the undercover agent for a $10,000 contribution, which violates campaign finance laws that prohibit contributions over $500. Neither Jones nor Lee have been charged.


•More details from an FBI wiretap of Yee, showing collusion with former district attorney candidate Sharmin Bock in an illegal campaign fundraising scheme (page 3-4), with help from former San Francisco School Board president Keith Jackson and local businessman Derf Butler. Yee and Jackson have pled guilty to racketeering charges stemming from the case. Bock and Butler have not been charged.


•From the FBI file: “[Leland] Yee stated that Sharmin [Bock] can raise a lot of money because ‘she’s got CEO’s of Silicon Valley, this and that and shit like that’” (page 5). Sharmin Bock lost the election for district attorney, and remains a prosecutor in Alameda County. She has not been charged for the campaign check-swapping scheme.


MTA manager Sululagi Palega offered to sell machine guns to an undercover FBI agent posing as a criminal running a weed farm in Mendocino County (page 5). Palega has not been charged.


“Palega was very cautious about conducting any type of illegal business because he had personal relationships with Mayor Ed Lee and San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr,” drove an official City of San Francisco vehicle, offered a catalog of assault rifles and handguns, and sold an undercover agent a revolver in See’s Candy bag (page 6).


•Local NAACP president Amos Brown was recorded on an FBI wiretap saying he was "fairly disgusted with that little heffer London Breed" for her investigation into favors he had allegedly received from former San Francisco Housing Authority chief Henry Alvarez, who was fired in 2013 (page 7). When Leland Yee aide Keith Jackson asked Brown how he could help, Brown said “[Breed] needs to shut her mouth and I think we need to have a meeting with her.” Brown has not been charged with any wrongdoing in the case.


•Local businessman Derf Butler told Keith Jackson that if Breed "digs too hard [into Alvarez], she gonna blow something up on him" (page 7). Butler has not been charged.


Keith Jackson was recorded by the FBI speaking with London Breed about a break-in at Amos Brown's house, which went unreported. Jackson speculated that it wasn’t reported because Brown suspected the break-in was by Housing Authority workers, and didn't want a story coming out (page 8).


Local NAACP vice president Rev. Arnold Townsend allegedly accepted regular cash payments from an FBI informant, saying “he would show anger for causes, but the anger was all calculated” (page 8).


•More details from the FBI file on an alleged bid-rigging scheme set up by Keith Jackson and Derf Butler for a multi-million dollar building contract (page 10). Butler has not been charged.


•“Butler has discussed with a CHS [Confidential Human Source] that he pays Supervisor Breed with untraceable debit cards for clothing and trips in exchange for advantages on contracts in San Francisco” (page 11). London Breed has not been charged.


•More details on campaign fundraising violations by Zula Jones and Nazly Mohajer, breaking down large illegal donations to Ed Lee’s mayoral campaign into smaller pieces and filtering them through trusted associates (page 11, page 12). Neither Jones nor Mohajer have been charged.


•Nazly Mohajer complaining in a phone call to Keith Jackson that San Francisco is extremely corrupt, and that Ed Lee is “worse than all of them,” but never comes through on his promises (page 12).


•Mayor Lee had a private meeting with an undercover FBI agent who is introduced as having made an illegal $10,000 campaign contribution. The two talk about "bringing private business interests and development into San Francisco.” Nazly Mohajer calls the undercover agent afterwards to ask if he can contribute an additional $10,000, and tells him “you can never talk to anybody about this” (page 12).


885, 886-main

These are documents related to a 2008 FBI investigation into ‘Shrimp Boy’ Chow. Document 886-1 goes into more detail.

886-1

This document is a detailed FBI rundown of the 2009 conflict between David Chiu, then chairman of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow over the Chinatown Night Market. Highlights include:

•FBI surveillance of a Chow-organized protest at City Hall (page 11).


•Chiu allegedly being threatened for refusing to pose for a photo with Chow at a dinner (page 13).


•Chinatown fixer Rose Pak accusing Chow of intimidating other community leaders (page 14).


•Chiu wearing a wire for the FBI to a meeting with Chow (page 19).


•Details of Chow's $3 million movie deal (page 25).


886-2, 886-3, 886-4, 886-5, 886-6

In these documents, Chow’s lawyers allege that district attorney Melinda Haag politicized prosecutions, including the investigation into Raymond Chow and Leland Yee and the decision not to charge Mayor Ed Lee and other Bay Area political figures. According to 886-5, a letter to U.S. Senator Charles Grassley about one of Haag’s previous cases, which several members of Congress believed was politicized, Curtis Briggs is representing Chow pro bono. 886-6 is a news article from July 29th about Haag announcing her impending resignation, for unspecified reasons.
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Re: anti-gun SF legislator selling guns to Chinese Freemason

Postby Rory » Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:32 pm

How very Vernon/Vinci/Bell etc..
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