SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Eight people rounded up in an FBI sting alongside Chinese crime boss Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow were sentenced by a federal judge Tuesday to jail terms ranging from one to seven years for their roles in Chow’s racketeering, drug trafficking and money laundering enterprise.
The sentences all but conclude a legal saga that started nearly four years ago with an FBI sweep in March 2014, though an undercover investigation of Chow and his close associates goes back to 2011.
In January 2016, a jury convicted Chow of 162 criminal counts, including money laundering, conspiring to buy and sell stolen goods and conspiring to kill a rival named Jim Tat Kong, who was found shot dead in 2013.
He was also found guilty of ordering a hit on prominent businessman Allen Leung, who was killed in his Chinatown import-export shop on Feb. 27, 2006.
Leung was at the time dragonhead of the Ghee Kung Tong, a Chinatown fraternal organization referred to throughout Chow’s trial as the Chee Kung Tong, or CKT. Chow wanted to take over control of the CKT, and did so after Leung’s death.
The operation also ensnared former state Sen. Leland Yee and former San Francisco school board president Keith Jackson.
Both pleaded guilty in July 2015 to one count of felony racketeering after reaching a deal with federal prosecutors, and were sentenced in 2016. Yee is currently serving five years, and Jackson is serving nine years.
Yee was in desperate need of money to retire a $70,000 debt from his failed 2011 San Francisco mayoral bid, and to run for Secretary of State in 2014.
In 2011, he enlisted Jackson, who was then a political consultant, to solicit money from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer sentenced Leslie Yun and James Pau to seven and six years in prison, respectively, for racketeering, money laundering, marijuana possession and distribution and conspiring to traffic in stolen cigarettes.
Ring Roeun received six years for weapons trafficking and murder for hire; Michael Mei, five years for racketeering and manufacturing marijuana; Elaine Liang, three years for racketeering and money laundering; Tina Liang, 18 months for racketeering, conspiring to transport stolen liquor and marijuana possession and distribution; and Kevin Siu, one year and one day for racketeering and money laundering.
The last remaining defendant, Chow’s best friend George Nieh, who testified against Chow at his trial, is set to be sentenced on July 11, 2018.