SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — One of the original charges against state senator Leland Yee is gun-running. The Feds say he talked about obtaining shoulder-fired missiles.
But is that even possible? An expert told KPIX that all it would take would be a few phone calls.
Kathi Lynn Austin is the executive director of the Conflict Awareness Project and she has been tracking major arms dealers across the globe for two decades.
Austin says an arms deal allegedly brokered by Senator Yee between a Daly City dentist named Wilson Lim and an undercover FBI agent might eventually lead investigators to a “major player” — a man with connections to huge quantities of weapons in Ukraine and Russia.
Austin says Lee may need to hand over this “big fish” if he wants to get out of gun-running charges he faces.
Austin called the sting that ensnared Yee and others a “cookie cutter” operation — right down to the request for shoulder-fired missiles and the wire worn by undercover agents.
“The fact that he mentioned certain ports, that he mentioned the price tag of certain weapons, the fact that all these kinds of details were on the table and they weren’t just instigated by the FBI undercover agent — those kinds of details are what the U.S. prosecution will be able to use very effectively against Senator Leland Yee,” Austin said.
Senator Yee has pleaded not guilty to all charges except for the most recent charge of racketeering.