The long awaited racketeering and murder trial of Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, an alleged Chinatown gangster, begins this morning in San Francisco’s federal court house.
The charge of murder springs from Chow’s alleged order the kill Chinatown businessman Allen Leung, who was slain in 2006, and another former associate, Jim Tat Kong, who died violently in 2013.
The case against Chow originally only alleged he headed an organized crime group, the fraternal Chinatown organization Ghee Kung Tong.
His defense team, including Tony Serra, plan to argue that the government cast a wide net in an effort to snare someone in San Francisco and in the process committed misconduct.
They say Chow is a reformed man who stopped his illegal activity after making a deal with federal authorities — including testifying against a former colleague — in order to get out of prison.
The case, which included former state Sen. Leland Yee who pleaded guilty to charges, also caught up numerous politicians and local figures.
In March 2014, law enforcement raids across the Bay Area detained more than 20 people, including former Yee, former school board member Keith Jackson and Chow.
The arrests stemmed from a federal indictment alleging, among other things, that Chow headed an organized gang outfit in Chinatown and that Yee and Jackson committed a series of crimes to further Yee’s political ambitions. Yee and Jackson have since pleaded guilty to racketeering and other charges.
U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer will preside over the trial.