Chinatown gang leader convicted of murder
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.”