SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A federal judge Thursday sentenced notorious San Francisco Chinatown crime figure Raymond ‘Shrimp Boy’ Chow to two life in prison terms for killing his rival and other crimes.
Chow was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer. The sentence was handed down the sentence shortly after 12:30 p.m.
At one point before sentencing, prosecutors told the judge – “Life is not only mandated, but appropriate.”
For his part, Chow made a lengthy statement to court about the failure of his defense team. At one point, prosecutors interrupted him and he fired back – “excuse me, it’s my turn to talk.”
Breyer said that during Chow’s trial, “it became clear” that his claim of having reformed after previous crimes “was highly manipulative, dangerous and contrary to the evidence.”
Chow, wearing a dark business suit, spoke for more than an hour, claiming that he was innocent, that his former defense lawyers had been incompetent and that the judge was biased.
“I’m not apologizing for crimes I had nothing to do with,” he said.
Referring to Chee Kung Tong leader Allen Leung’s murder, Chow said, “I feel sorry for the victims, the family involved in his case, but I had nothing to do with their father, their relatives.”
“I don’t have a guilty conscience. I’m going to continue to fight this case on a different level,” he said.
Chow also claimed his former defense team of veteran defense lawyer Tony Serra and Curtis Briggs “totally failed to protect my rights.”
The 56-year-old Chow, the leader or “dragonhead” of the Chee Kung Tong fraternal association, was convicted of 162 counts by a jury in the court of U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer on Jan. 8 after a two-month trial.
The convictions included racketeering conspiracy, the 2006 murder of Chow’s predecessor as dragonhead, conspiracy to murder another rival, five counts of conspiring to transport stolen liquor and cigarettes across state lines and 154 counts of money laundering.
Chow was originally due to be sentenced in February, but it was postponed because Chow’s lawyers asked for more time to file the post-trial motions.
He was one of 29 people indicted by a federal grand jury in 2014 following a five-year probe that also ensnared former state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, and political consultant Keith Jackson. Chow and most of the other defendants were accused of participating in an organized-crime enterprise allegedly run by Chow through a criminal faction of the Chee Kung Tong.
Yee and Jackson, a former San Francisco school board president who served as Yee’s fundraiser, were separately accused of political corruption in accepting campaign contributions as bribes for political favors by Yee.
Both Yee and Jackson pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and were sentenced to five years and nine years in prison, respectively. FBI investigators were led to Yee through Jackson, who had ties to the tong as well as to the senator.
Of the 29 people indicted in the federal case, a total of 14, including Chow, Yee and Jackson, have been convicted of various charges. Chow was the only one to go to trial and the others pleaded guilty, including four associates who testified against Chow at his trial.
One defendant, Serge Gee, is a fugitive and another, Daly City dentist Wilson Lim, who was accused of conspiring with Yee and Jackson in a never-completed international arms deal, died.
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