Recently we wrote about State Senator Leland Yee’s arrest by the FBI on corruption and gun running charges. In a late-breaking revelation, we have discovered a Tustin Connection to Lee, also known as “Uncle Leland” and his chief proponent, Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, a known San Francisco gangland figure.
Yee, who was arrested last week, has been discovered to have orchestrated several trips to local restaurants in Tustin. The purpose of the trips were unclear but appear to have implicated local politicians in a web of money-laundering and political chicanery.
Notable in the affidavit used to issue the arrest warrant for Yee and others tied to the conspiracy was a reference on page 168 to a political “consultant” known in the document only as “Uncle Jerry”. The affidavit details meetings between Yee, “Shrimp Boy” and “Uncle Jerry” in a local teppan house to discuss an airsoft gunrunning operation run by “Uncle Jerry”. “Uncle Jerry ” proposed furnishing airsoft rifles and ammunition to Yee and his cohorts in exchange for becoming Yee’s chief houseboy from OC. The suspect has previously received awards from the Tustin City Council as an “agent of change” for his work toward rescuing abandoned Springer Spaniels and retraining them as lap dogs for the homeless. “Uncle Jerry” is also reported to have ties to the famous Hop Sing Tong operating as far north as Virginia City, Nevada.
A search warrant was reportedly served on the residence of the suspect who had been hiding his operation by claiming he breeds Springer Spaniel dogs in his garage. And, although the suspect has often been seen riding around in borrowed vintage vehicles with a brown and white dog on his lap, there are no reports by the city of Tustin for a kennel license. As added cover, his wife allegedly trains dogs in local parks. Again, no business license or other documentation has been provided by the city to verify this.
When agents searched the suspect’s home, they found several hundred high-end, automatic airsoft rifles and handguns with the orange tips removed. At least a hundred thousand rounds of ammunition were also located in dog crates with false bottoms. An OCFA Hazmat team and the OCSD bomb squad were called in to remove the pooh-covered weapons.
Another section of the affidavit detailing the Tustin operation revealed a connection to current city government officials. An undercover FBI informant allegedly met with a cohort and former colleague of “Uncle Jerry” on several occasions. Al “Starbucks” Murray allegedly had lattes and chocolate croissants with the suspects where “Uncle Jerry acted as an intermediary. The undercover informant, known only as “The Podiatrist”, does not specify what the conversation was about although he alleges several dollars and two rewards were transferred to Murray’s Gold Starbucks card after the meeting.
Yee has been released after posting a half million dollar bail. “Uncle Jerry” was reportedly arrested and offered $100 if he would choose to stay out of jail. His dog, however, was impounded and is being housed in protective custody at the Orange County Animal Shelter. Murray has not been charged.
We will keep you up to date as details become known. However, if you have not figured it out by now, perhaps you should look at the date and do not hold your breath for further information.
Our story has been updated below – jg
Shocking news coming from the state capitol this morning where Senator Leland Yee has been indicted on bribery and public corruption charges. At the same time of his indictment, Scott Lay of Around the Capitol reports a series of arrest warrants were executed in San Francisco and across the Bay Area on known and suspected gang members.
At the same time, searches of the Chinatown office of the Gee King Tong Free Masons are being conducted. This is, reportedly, in conjunction with the arrest of known gang member, Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow. Chow has previously renounced his gang affiliations after being honored by Senator Diane Feinstein and others for civic achievements.
Yee apparently turned himself in at the Federal Building this morning after being informed of the charges. Yee is running for State Controller agains fellow Democrat, Alex Padilla. The Sacramento Bee states that Yee, a child psychologist, is best known for legislation regarding video game violence and open records laws.
Yee has recently been criticized for his legislation regarding solitary confinement of juvenile offenders. Author of a bill that would have required the intervention of a psychiatrist in order to place a ward in their cell for more than an hour at a time, Yee’s bill was subsequently amended to allow for wider latitude of the use of “room time” as a consequence for uncontrollable behavior.
The arrest of Yee follows on the recent departures of Senators Rod Wright and Ron Calderon. Calderon is under investigation for bribery and corruption charges while Wright has recently been convicted of perjury and voter fraud. This leave the Democractic Senate in a lurch as their supermajority goes down the drain.
Republicans, of course, are calling for their heads and demanding all three leave the Senate. As of this writing, they are all on paid leave of absence, drawing a salary but not attending to state business. Republicans appear to be as slow to grasp the concept before them as the Democrats are to understand what they have lost, according to an LA Times editorial last week:
Apparently the ramifications haven’t sunk in yet, because Democrats are still acting as if they can run roughshod over Republicans. They can’t. Without their supermajority, Democrats lost an opportunity to pass SB 27, the dark-money bill. The legislation was proposed after two groups linked to conservative bankrollers Charles and David Koch funneled $15 million to California campaigns in 2012. The bill would have closed loopholes in current law by requiring that nonprofits that make at least $50,000 in political expenditures in a year must reveal their donors, and independent campaign committees that raise $1 million must publish a list of their top 10 contributors.
Yee’s status is unclear and we will have to wait to see how sure the Feds are of themselves. This definitely puts a hammer on Yee’s aspirations and it appears another career politician will bite the dust, regardless of the eventual outcome. Yee for his part has yet to say anything about the charges. It should be interesting if he come out fighting or just slinks away to hide in Chinatown.
Update- March 26, 2014 1:10 pm- The Sacramento Bee is reporting the FBI showed up early at the Capitol with a search warrant for Yee’s office, carting away 9 boxes of evidence. The FBI showed up bright an early at 7 am and took nearly 5 hours to search and accumulate their booty. The FBI, in true LEO fashion, asked reporters to refrain from photographing their faces. Here’s the video from Sac Bee: