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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A series of FBI raids in the Bay Area and Sacramento targeting corruption and gang activity netted the arrest of one San Francisco’s most infamous criminals who in recent years worked to distance himself from his notorious past.
Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow is a former member of a Chinatown street gang and later a member of a Hong Kong-based triad.
He was convicted of six gun charges in federal court in 1995 and sentenced to 23 years in prison. He was the leader of a criminal faction of the San Francisco group called the Hop Sing Tong, which started as a national business association of Chinese immigrants in the 19th century.
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Chow’s criminal history started early, and by age 16 he was the leader of 30 underlings collecting money from gambling dens in Hong Kong.
After coming to the U.S., he organized the Hop Sing Tong to collect money from gambling dens in San Francisco.
He was arrested on robbery charges in 1978, paroled in 1985, but quickly returned to crime and was sent back to prison.
Chow testified in the 2002 trial of Peter “Uncle” Chong that he was Chong’s right-hand man when Chong was head of the Wo Hop To criminal organization after Chow’s Hop Sing Tong gang merged with Chong’s to take over Chinatown’s criminal activity in 1990.
Chow is rumored to have some role in the 2006 San Francisco execution-style murder of Allen Leung , the head of Chinatown fraternal organization, a murder which remains unsolved.
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