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FBI: California State Sen. Leland Yee Arrested


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FBI: California State Sen. Leland Yee Arrested

 

A California state senator was arrested Wednesday during a series of raids by the FBI in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area, authorities said.

 

FBI spokesman Peter Lee confirmed the arrest of State Sen. Leland Yee, but declined to discuss the charges, citing an ongoing investigation.

 

The agency was executing numerous arrests and search warrants in the Bay Area, FBI Special Agent Michael Gimbel said outside the offices of Ghee Kung Tong, a fraternal organization in San Francisco's Chinatown that was among the sites searched.

 

Lee said a second man, Raymond Chow, was also arrested. Chow, who was known as "Shrimp Boy," was reportedly the head of Ghee Kung Tong and had returned to Chinatown after serving time in prison on gun charges.

 

The FBI also searched Yee's office, Mark Hedlund, spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, confirmed. Hedlund said he had no information about Yee's arrest.

 

"We're hoping for more as we go through the day," he said.

 

Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said he had no comment and did not know anything about the investigation.

 

Officers from the California Highway Patrol and Senate sergeant-at-arms details were standing guard outside Yee's office, where a morning newspaper remained untouched.

 

Yee, a Democrat, represents western San Francisco and much of San Mateo County. A spokesman for the senator, Dan Lieberman, said he had no comment, but the senator's office would release a statement in the afternoon.

 

Yee, 65, is best known publicly for his efforts to strengthen open records, government transparency and whistleblower protection laws, including legislation to close a loophole in state public records laws after the CSU Stanislaus Foundation refused to release its $75,000 speaking contract with former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in 2010.

 

For his efforts to uphold the California Public Records Act, Yee was honored last week by the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, which awarded him its public official citation for his efforts last year to maintain the requirements of the California Public Records Act.

 

Yee has at times clashed with fellow Democrats for casting votes of conscience, refusing to support the Democratic budget proposal in 2011 because of its deep cuts to education, social services and education. He also opposed legislation by a fellow Democrat, Assemblyman Paul Fong of Cupertino, that banned the sale of shark fins used for Chinese shark fin soup, saying that it unfairly targeted the Chinese-American community.

 

Yee is among three Democrats running this year for secretary of state, the office that oversees elections and campaign finance reporting. He lost a bid for mayor of San Francisco in 2011.

 

A man was charged last year for threatening Yee over legislation that he proposed to limit rapid reloading of assault weapons.

 

Yee is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. in federal court in San Francisco.

 

His arrest came as a shock to Chinese-Americans who see the senator as a pioneering leader in the community and a mainstay of San Francisco politics, said David Lee, director of the Chinese American Voters Education Committee.

 

"People are waiting to see what happens, and they are hoping for the best, that the charges turn out not to be true," said Lee, whose organization just held a get-out-the-vote event with Yee and other Chinese-American elected officials last week.

 

Chow acknowledged in an unpublished autobiography that he ran prostitution rings in the 1980s, smuggled drugs and extorted thousands from business owners as a Chinatown gang member, KGO-TV reported two years ago. But he told the station he had changed and was working with at-risk children in San Francisco.

 

 

 

Associated Press writers Terry Collins, Garance Burke and Jason Dearen in San Francisco; and Judy Lin and Juliet Williams in Sacramento, Calif., contributed to this report.

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Arrested but no charges given?

 

WTF?

since you cant spell gogiggle, you will just have to wait until he sees the federal judge in an hour or so,

 

or were you talking about no charges in benghazi yet ?

 

 

Damn right, IF

is that what you said about the trayvon martin suicide case ?

 

are we innocent until proven guilty again ?

 

or only libloons ?

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Racists accuse China man. No tickee No Washee. Confucius say Woman who fly upside done in airplane sure to have crack up. Racists

Making it a permanent record here for all to see what a filthy racist you are, is good

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Making it a permanent record here for all to see what a filthy racist you are, is good

what a dumbazz...

 

everyone is a racist... lol

 

guess what you dumbazz fkn racist...

 

chinese is a nationality... not a race...

 

lol

 

dont you ever get anything right ?

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War on China man. War on women man. War on oblameo man. Confucius say Woman who slide down bannister have no hair. BY CRAKEE. Racist.

children make fun of children that are different from them

 

when you grow up you are suppose to know better, you are suppose to grow up, i can see you havent

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we probably wouldnt have gun problems if libloons would just quit running guns

yee is being charged with racketeering, wire fraud, bribery and gun running

 

sound like a lib to you ?

 

State Sen. Leland Yee indicted on arms trafficking, corruption charges

 

San FRANCISCO -- In a stunning criminal complaint, State Sen. Leland Yee has been charged with conspiring to traffic in firearms and public corruption as part of a major FBI operation spanning the Bay Area, casting yet another cloud of corruption over the Democratic establishment in the Legislature and torpedoing Yee's aspirations for statewide office.

 

Yee, D-San Francisco, highlights a series of arrests Wednesday morning that included infamous Chinatown gangster Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, whose past includes a variety of charges including racketeering and drug crimes. Targets of the early-morning raids appeared in federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon.

 

A 137-page criminal complaint charges 26 people -- including Yee and Chow -- with a panoply of crimes, including firearms trafficking, money laundering, murder-for-hire, drug distribution, trafficking in contraband cigarettes, and honest services fraud.

 

Yee is charged with conspiracy to traffic in firearms without a license and to illegally import firearms, as well as six counts of scheming to defraud citizens of honest services. Each corruption count is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000, while the gun-trafficking count is punishable by up to five years and $250,000.

The charges are particularly shocking given that Yee has been among the state Senate's most outspoken advocates both of gun control and of good-government initiatives.

 

San Francisco political consultant Keith Jackson, a former school-board president, allegedly was the link between Yee and Chow, who federal prosecutors say is the current "Dragonhead," or leader, of the San Francisco-based Chee Kung Tong organization.

 

Chow introduced an undercover agent who had infiltrated his organization to Jackson, who with his son, Brandon Jackson, and another man, Marlon Sullivan, allegedly sold the agent various guns and bulletproof vests.

 

The Jacksons and Sullivan also allegedly conspired in a murder-for-hire scheme requested by the undercover agent, as well as other crimes including

sale of stolen credit cards and purchase of cocaine.

 

Yee ran for mayor of San Francisco in 2011 and now is a candidate for California Secretary of State. But the criminal complaint likely ruins his candidacy and further threatens Democrats' efforts to restore their state Senate supermajority that already has been broken by two other lawmakers' paid leaves of absence to deal with criminal charges.

Keith Jackson and Yee from 2011 until now allegedly solicited donations from undercover FBI agents in exchange for official acts and conspired to traffic firearms, the complaint says. Starting in May 2011, Jackson solicited an undercover FBI agent to give money to Yee's mayoral campaign, including asking the agent for donations in excess of the $500 individual donation limit. The agent refused, but introduced Jackson and Yee to a purported business associate -- another undercover agent -- who they also solicited for at least $5,000.

 

Yee's mayoral election loss left him with $70,000 in debt, the complaint says, and so Yee and Jackson allegedly agreed that Yee would call a California Department of Public Health manager in support of a contract under consideration with the second undercover agent's purported client, and would provide an official letter of support for the client, in exchange for a $10,000 campaign donation. Yee allegedly made the call on Oct. 18, 2012, and provided the letter on or about Jan. 13, 2013; Jackson allegedly accepted the $10,000 cash donation on Nov. 19, 2012.

 

The complaint also says Jackson last August told one of the undercover agents that Yee had a contact who deals in arms trafficking; Jackson requested that the undercover agent provide a campaign donation in exchange for Yee facilitate a meeting with the arms dealer so the agent could buy a large number of weapons. Yee and Jackson allegedly discussed with the agent details of the specific types of weapons the undercover agent was interested in buying and importing.

Yee had yet to appear before the judge as of 3 p.m., but earlier in the afternoon the judge ordered Chow be held without bail. Government attorneys called him a flight risk and danger to the community, citing his criminal history. Chow's lawyer objected saying that Chow has been fighting with immigration authorities to stay in the United States.

 

Chow is not a U.S. citizen. He is being represented by public defender and lives in San Francisco with his girlfriend. He has been on electronic monitoring since he's been out of prison and seeking legal immigration stays, even during the current investigation.

 

FBI agents and local police served arrest and search warrants throughout the Bay Area, with agents seen in San Francisco and San Mateo and Yee's Capitol office in Sacramento. One of the searches was at the San Francisco Chinatown office of the Ghee Kung Tong Free Masons and is linked to Chow's arrest.

 

Outside that building on Spofford Street -- a Chinatown alley between Clay and Washington streets -- FBI Special Agent Michael Gimbel would say only that "the FBI is executing numerous search warrants around the Bay Area."

 

San Francisco firefighters carried a heavy rotary saw into the building late Wednesday morning; neighbors said they believe there's a safe inside the building. Federal agents removed about 10 boxes of documents and several bags of material from the building at about 12:30 p.m., and the FBI left the scene soon after that.

Federal law enforcement officials have been chasing Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow for decades, branding him one of the longtime Bay Area leaders of a Hong Kong-based criminal syndicate called the Wo Hop To. Chow's criminal rap sheet dates back to 1978, and includes federal racketeering indictments that have alleged attempted murder, murder-for-hire, gun trafficking and other crimes.

 

Chow was originally indicted in a federal racketeering probe that targeted the alleged leader of the Chinatown gang, Peter Chong. At one point, Chow cooperated with federal law enforcement officials against Chong, who had fled to Hong Kong after being indicted on racketeering charges but was later extradited and convicted in San Francisco federal court in a case marred by setbacks and delays. Chow's original 1995 sentence of 24 years was cut to 11 years as a result of his cooperation, and he has been out of prison for 10 years.

 

During an afternoon press conference, State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said "Leland Yee should leave the Senate and leave it now."

 

Yee represents San Francisco and a portion of San Mateo County. Before becoming the first Chinese-American ever elected to the state Senate in 2006, Yee was an assemblyman from 2002 to 2006; a San Francisco supervisor from 1997 to 2002; and had been a member and president of the San Francisco Unified School District board. While in the Assembly, he was the first Asian-American to be named Speaker pro Tempore, essentially making him the chamber's second-most-powerful Democrat.

 

That power would have been exercised this year in Yee's run for Secretary of State against state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Van Nuys; Democrat Derek Cressman; Republican Pete Peterson; and nonpartisan Dan Schnur.

 

Upon pulling his candidacy papers in February, Yee issued a news release saying it was time for a Secretary of State "who will expand access to the ballot box, make our government more transparent, and strengthen California's democracy."

 

"I am committed to empowering Californians so that they can guarantee fair elections, expose special interests and prevent corruption, because it's your California," Yee said at the time.

 

Yee campaign spokesman Joaquin Ross declined to comment Wednesday morning, saying he would have to call back.

 

Yee is the state's third Democratic legislator recently targeted in corruption allegations. In February, State Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, surrendered to authorities after being indicted on bribery charges. In January, state Sen. Roderick Wright, D-Inglewood, was convicted of voter fraud and perjury stemming from a 2010 indictment.

 

Cressman, who until last June was vice president of the nonpartisan government watchdog group Common Cause, Wednesday morning said that charges against Yee must be "a wake-up call" given other Senate Democrats' legal problems.

 

"We are clearly beyond the point of looking at one bad apple and instead looking at a corrupt institution in the California Senate," Cressman said. "The constant begging for campaign cash clearly has a corrosive effect on a person's soul and the only solution is to get big money out of our politics once and for all."

 

Schnur, a longtime GOP campaign strategist who more recently served as chairman of the state Fair Political Practices Commission and directed the University of Southern California's Unruh Institute of Politics, said news of Yee's arrest "is yet another in a series of reminders of why Californians have so little trust in their elected officials.

 

"My hope is that this will prompt the Legislature to take much more aggressive and meaningful action to fix a broken political system than they have been willing to do to date," Schnur said.

 

Yee emigrated to San Francisco from China at age 3; his father was a veteran who served in the Army and the merchant marine. Yee earned a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley; a master's degree from San Francisco State University; and a doctorate in child psychology at the University of Hawaii. He and his wife, Maxine, have four children.

 

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, served with Yee for several years in the Legislature but was never close to him. She said the senator is innocent until proven guilty but called the allegations "regrettable."

 

"It's always sad for all of us in the profession," said Speier, "to see individuals who lose sight of what the public trust is all about."

 

Check back later for updates to this story.

 

Staff writers Thomas Peele, Mark Gomez and Erin Ivie contributed to this report.

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Wasn't he a Republican too?

too ?

 

there are no republicans

 

why is it you libloons have to lie whenever you try to make a point ?

 

you lying coward

 

wow lookie here...

 

CHARLOTTE — The mayor of Charlotte resigned Wednesday hours after his arrest on public corruption charges.

 

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon is accused of accepting about $48,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen who wanted to do business in the city.

 

Cannon had been in office 114 days when he was arrested and charged Wednesday.

 

A spokesman for the city said Cannon submitted his letter Wednesday to the city manager and attorney. In his letter, Cannon said the pending charges will create too much of a distraction for the business of the city to go forward.

 

Cannon's resignation is effective immediately, said City Manager Ron Carlee. Mayor Pro-tem Michael Barnes will serve as interim mayor until the City Council appoints a councilmember as the new mayor.

 

Cannon, 47, faces several charges including theft and bribery.

 

Cannon's arrest followed an undercover investigation that began in August 2010. Authorities allege Cannon solicited and accepted cash from the agents who were posing as real estate developers and investors.

 

Cannon, a Charlotte native, allegedly accepted bribes in exchange for the privileges of his position as an elected official, whether as mayor, mayor pro-tem or a city council member.

 

If convicted of all charges, he faces 20 years in prison and more than $1 million in fines.

 

Cannon, a Democrat, was elected mayor in November, replacing Anthony Foxx, who was named Transportation Secretary by President Barack Obama.

 

The FBI said Cannon accepted money from agents on five separate occasions. The last was on Feb. 21, 2014. He is accused of accepting $20,000 in cash at the mayor's office. The exchanges began in January 2013, according to the Department of Justice.

 

 

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon resigned Wednesday, March 26, 2014, hours after being arrested on public corruption charges.(Photo: Handout via WCNC-TV, Charlotte)

 

 

In total, Cannon accepted about $48,000 in cash, airline tickets, a hotel room and use of a luxury apartment, the FBI said. Some of the money, documents say, included cash to fund a business Cannon said he wanted to fund called HERS, a feminine hygiene product to be sold in the United States.

 

The indictment against Cannon alleges he characterized any rewards as business investments that were unrelated to his public office.

 

Cannon is free on a $25,000 unsecured bond.

 

After appearing in federal court Wednesday, Cannon did not have much to say when asked about the charges.

 

"Well, nothing at this point that I can discuss. But I'll certainly be back in contact with you," said Cannon.

 

The FBI said Cannon was given multiple chances to return the money he accepted.

 

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory issued a statement: "I am both saddened and angered because I have known Patrick and his family for over 30 years, but more than anything my heart is broken for the City of Charlotte. This is not the city that I know, served and love. This alleged behavior is inexcusable and cannot be tolerated."

 

Contributing: The Associated Press

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LMAO

Dipstick

 

You only post the Dems crooks.

 

Be a man and post all the crooked politicians.

 

No guts, you only want to show up one side and let the more crooked side skate?

 

Show us the picture of you bangin the monkey?

:)

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LMAO

Dipstick

 

You only post the Dems crooks.

 

Be a man and post all the crooked politicians.

 

No guts, you only want to show up one side and let the more crooked side skate?

 

Show us the picture of you bangin the monkey?

:)

stay on topic

 

coward

 

you already axed what yee was charged with moron...

 

I posted his indictment

 

learn to read before you open your dumbazz...

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