SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The federal judge hearing the organized crime and corruption case involving suspended state Senator Leland Yee and convicted Chinatown gang leader Raymond ‘Shrimp Boy’ Chow on Wednesday denied a request to lift a gag order.
Chow’s legal team had hoped lifting the gag order would allow them to present their side of the story in the media.
“We wanted to be able to show some exonerating information to the press so the public could get a more balanced opinion of him and he could have a fair trial when we do go to trial,” said attorney Curtiss Briggs.
The allegations against Chow in this case did not include either gang or firearm charges, for example, Briggs said.
“There was a lot of bad press in the beginning. It was a convoluted, complicated indictment. It wasn’t clear to a lot of people.”
Briggs said the gag order has also impeded the defense investigation since Chow, a Cantonese speaker, needs help reading the thousands of pages of evidence presented in the case.
“He would have to use somebody in jail to help him read. The protective order prohibits him from sharing it with anybody,” Briggs said.
A spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office declined to comment, citing the ongoing nature of the case.
The next hearing, set for Sept. 24, will focus on an FBI agent withdrawn from the case over alleged financial misconduct.