Sunday, April 20, 2014

Chinese Mafia

A Chinese Triad Funeral
This is a little different from the stories I normally blog about, but it is too good to pass up.  It has it all: Federal Agents Undercover as Sicilian drug dealers, a gun pedaling State Senator who wants more gun control and a one time snitch claiming to be reformed who is really a Mafia boss!  Hollywood could not have come up with  a story like this.

First a history lesson: the Cosa Nostra is at best 150 years old, but the Chinese Triads are over 400 years old.  

The Chee Kung Tong or CKT is a San Francisco based off-shoot of the Hung Mun which was formed in China in the mid 17th Century. It was started as a Revolutionary group to overthrow the Qing Dynasty that ruled China 1644 till 1911, so this is a long period to be fighting.   In the Mid to Late 19th Century the Hung Mun began to immigrate to the United States.  When they came, they brought with them their customs and rituals.  They formed secret societies that became known as Tongs in the US.  Some of these Tongs worked to help the Chinese in their communities, but many used their power to control vice such as prostitution, gambling, Loan Sharking and the importation of heroin.

Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow
The strongest was known as Chee Gung Tong or Chee Kung Tong and it would not really be looked at by Law Enforcement until 2006 when the former “Dragonhead” or Boss, Allen Leung. was murdered in San Francisco.  A Dragonhead holds what is known as a 489 position (dealing with Chinese Lucky Numbers) in the International Triads, which signifies supreme authority within the organization.

Let me introduce you to the Dragonhead of the Chee Kung Tong today,  Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow.  Known as Dai Lo or Big Brother to normal people on the street, Shrimp Boy holds the 489 position the Triad.  Shrimp Boy is, or was until recently, the leader of the Hop Sing Gang in San Fransisco's Chinatown with 200-300 members.  

According to Chow he joined a Triad in China at age 9.  A few years later, at 16, he would emigrate to San Fransisco where he would join a street gang. He would spend time in San Quentin for armed robbery and upon his release he would join the WoHop To Triad where he would run heroin distribution, prostitution and gambling for them during the 1980's.

He became right hand man to a man named  Peter Chong who was sent to unite the Triads all over the world.  In 1995 Shrimp Boy was given 24 years, but in 2000 Peter Chong was captured by the Chinese authorities and extradited to the US.  Shrimp Boy agreed to testify against him and when he was finished he was given a reduced sentence and released by 2003.  

Shrimp Boy has a long history of landing on his feet.  If anyone reading this has seen the movie “Year of the Dragon,” they will recognize the scene of this shooting that Shrimp boy was present for.  In the early morning hours of September 4, 1977, members of a Chinatown gang called The Joe Boys stormed into The Golden Dragon restaurant in San Francisco and opened fire with two semi automatic weapons and a shotgun.  They were after their enemy: the Wah Ching, who were aligned with the owners of the Golden Dragon, the Hip Sing Tong.  They would kill 5 people and wound 11 more, but Shrimp Boy was unhurt.

Senator Leland Yee
The Senator Aka Leland Yee, aka “Uncle” Leland, is a 65 year old California State Senator who represents district 8 which covers San Mateo and parts of San Francisco.
He once ran for Mayor of San Francisco and lost.  He was also running for Secretary of State.  Keith Jackson was a political consultant who was running Leland Yee's campaign for Secretary of State.  He was giving cash donations above the 500 dollar limits and one of these was from the Chee Kung Tong. Leland Yee would then present letters to the CKT.  He also agreed to help an Undercover Agent posing as a Arizona Medical Marijuana business owner who wanted to do business in California.
Keith Jackson then told the Undercover Agent that Leland Yee had a contact that was bringing in some illegal arms to through the Port of Newark in New Jersey.

Shrimp Boy receiving a "Certificate of Honor"
from Senator Yee, wearing his Triad Clothing
Leland Yee is one of the people who screamed very loud that we need strict gun laws such a bullet button ban.  The bullet button is a button that releases the magazine on a semi automatic weapon.  This goes to show you how full of crap these politicians really can be. They want to stop people who obey the law from having weapons to protect themselves.  A criminal does not care about what gun law is in place he will get one and use it. So why do these guys like Leland Yee try to pass this crap?  They scare those who do not know better, they suppress stories when a legal gun owner protect themselves using a gun.  Why?  So they can reap the rewards from those with the guns.

The FBI had undercover agents and CHS Confidential Human Sources give Leland Yee cash for favors.  They had Shrimp Boy and associates launder cash from supposed illicit activity such as drug trafficking and gambling.  The indictment is over 100 pages long but these men have great lawyers.  
They are not as sexy as the Italian Mafia, Shrimp Boy is a 5’5” chubby man and Leland Yee looks like an older Chinese businessman.  The Triads are so successful because they fly under the radar.   They can bring in 40 kilos of Heroin a year for 30 years  and never get greedy or flashy.  They buy buildings, help the community, keep the peace, send kids to college.  

I will post more as these men go to trial.

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