FBI Agent Says He Posed as ‘Vulgar’ Player in SF Crime Group

18 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

FBI agent says he posed as vulgar, profane syndicate member in San Francisco Chinatown case.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The undercover FBI agent at the center of an organized crime investigation in San Francisco’s Chinatown is expected to take the stand for a second day after testifying that he posed as a vulgar, racist member of an East Coast crime syndicate that was involved in illegal sports betting and marijuana cultivation and needed help laundering money. Federal prosecutors reached the core of their racketeering case against Chinatown organizer Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow on Tuesday with an undercover FBI agent’s testimony that he regularly paid Chow — who protested the payments but never refused them — to approve criminal activity by his subordinates.

He introduced me so that I could conduct illegal activities with his associates,” the agent known as “Dave Jordan” told the jury at Chow’s racketeering and murder trial. Chow has been charged with racketeering for allegedly heading a Chinatown organized crime group as well as conspiring to kill two men: Allen Leung and Jimmy Tat Kong. The agent, whose real name was not disclosed, said he posed for nearly four years as a Mafia member from the East Coast who wanted to launder money and sell purportedly stolen cigarettes and liquor. To protect his identity, the public and the news media were excluded from the courtroom and watched the proceedings on a video screen in another room, with the witness hidden from view.

The filings, concerning a separate drug case that resulted from an investigation into Asian organized crime, allege that an Oakland man, Wing Wo Ma, “is also believed to be involved in the double homicide of Kong and Cindy Chen.” Ma, 49, a defendant in the federal drug case, was allegedly an associate of Kong in his alleged illegal pot growing activities in Mendocino County, where Kong was found shot dead October 2013. Chow, 55, is charged with operating the Ghee Kung Tong, a long-standing Chinatown community organization, as a racketeering enterprise that dealt in drugs, guns and stolen goods.

The agent spent hours with Chow and people connected to him at fancy restaurants and nightclubs, recording many of their conversations as he built a case that would ultimately lead to criminal charges against Chow and more than two dozen others and the conviction of a state senator. None of these conversations, however, have gathered any evidence relating to Ma’s participation in Kong’s murder.” But the filing still alleges that Ma and Kong were in dispute because of a money issue having to do with their illegal marijuana growing operations in Redwood Valley. His lawyers contend he turned his life around after previous racketeering and gun-dealing convictions and is now a “visionary leader” dedicated to turning Chinatown youth away from crime.

Another defendant, Kongphat Chanthavong, pleaded guilty to racketeering and testified last week that he heard Chow give orders that resulted in Leung’s murder. They contend that most of the alleged crimes were manufactured by federal agents, who cooked up illicit transactions and tried to pin them on Chow by plying him with money and liquor. The defense case may have been bolstered by the testimony earlier Tuesday of another undercover agent, “Jimmy Chen,” who said he proposed illegal business deals to Chow in 2009 and 2010 while posing as a broker for wealthy investors, but was turned down.

One of the Chow’s associates during a 2011 meeting in Las Vegas put a gun and bag of cocaine on the table before he and the agent began talking about buying drugs and whether the associate could trust the agent, the agent said. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, and his fundraiser, Keith Jackson, who were accused of accepting bribes in the form of campaign contributions in exchange for political favors by Yee. As part of his cover story, or “legend” in FBI parlance, he bankrolled expensive meals and drinks for Chow and others in high-end restaurants and clubs, Jordan testified. Chow always felt he was being recorded,” but said that after about a year and one-half, Chow appeared to “let down his guard a little bit more” in his conversations.

Jordan testified that in 2011, Chow told him he wanted to take revenge on Jim Tat Kong, a rival leader of the Hop Sing Tong group, and had announced that Kong was “no longer my brother.” “He told me that when he said that, there would be people lined up in the street to take vengeance on Mr. He said Siu, suspecting he might be a law enforcement officer, suggested that he test the drug’s potency by trying some, but Jordan said he was able to fend him off.

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