Chi­na­town gang leader con­victed of mur­der

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By LIA ZHU in San Fran­cisco li­azhu@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

A long­time gang king­pin in San Fran­cisco’s Chi­na­town has been con­victed of mur­der and var­i­ous rack­e­teer­ing charges and could get life when he is sen­tenced on March 23, ac­cord­ing to the US at­tor­ney’s of­fice of North­ern District of Cal­i­for­nia.

Kwok Che­ung Chow, 55, also known as Ray­mond Chow or “Ha Jai”, mean­ing “Shrimp Boy” in Chi­nese, was the “drag­onhead”, or leader, of a Chi­nese-Amer­i­can or­ga­nized crime gang called “Chee Kung Tong”.

The group, trans­formed from a 100-year-old cul­tural or­ga­ni­za­tion into a rack­e­teer­ing en­ter­prise, was found to have com­mit­ted vi­o­lent crimes and traf­ficked nar­cotics and stolen goods.

A fed­eral jury on Jan 8 con­victed Chow on charges of rack­e­teer­ing, mur­der, money laun­der­ing and con­spir­acy. In com­plet­ing its ver­dict form, the jury found Chow guilty of all 162 of the charges lev­eled against him.

The charges in­cluded 125 counts of money laun­der­ing, aid­ing and abet­ting the laun­der­ing of pro­ceeds from nar­cotics sales, con­spir­ing to deal in il­le­gal sales of goods (in­clud­ing 50 cases of Hen­nessy XO and 27 cases of John­nie Walker Blue La­bel Scotch) and en­gag­ing in the il­le­gal sale of more than 10,000 car­tons of cig­a­rettes.

Chow was charged with and con­victed of ar­rang­ing the mur­der of Allen Le­ung, an of­fi­cial of Chee Kung Tong, in a dis­pute over money in 2006. He was also con­victed of con­spir­ing with oth­ers to mur­der Jim Tat Kong, a gang mem­ber, in 2013.

Chow was ar­rested on March 26, 2014, with sev­eral oth­ers, in­clud­ing Le­land Yee, a for­mer Cal­i­for­nia state sen­a­tor who has pleaded guilty to rack­e­teer­ing and is await­ing sen­tenc­ing.

The pros­e­cu­tion is the re­sult of a nearly five-year un­der­cover in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion, the US Mar­shals Ser­vice, the San Fran­cisco Po­lice Depart­ment Gang Task Force, and oth­ers.

“This con­vic­tion rep­re­sents a just and fi­nal end to Mr Chow’s long-run­ning and deadly crim­i­nal ca­reer,” said FBI Spe­cial Agent in Charge David J. John­son in a Mon­day press re­lease from the US at­tor­ney’s of­fice.

This con­vic­tion rep­re­sents a just and fi­nal end to Mr Chow’s lon­grun­ning and deadly crim­i­nal ca­reer.”

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