Judge orders court closed to public in ‘Shrimp Boy’ trial to protect identities of undercover FBI agents

Testimony from some of the undercover FBI agents who took part in the investigation of Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow will be in a closed courtroom Monday in order to protect the identities of the agents since they are actively working undercover cases.

U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer ruled Friday that the court will be closed to the the public next week when the undercover agents take the stand even though Chow’s defense team filed a motion in opposition to the ruling.

While the courtroom is closed, media and observers will be allowed to watch the proceeding from live video feed.

Court filings since the arrest of Chow in March 2014 have named the alias of several undercover agents involved in the case, including one agent that was taken off the case for alleged financial misconduct. From 2012 to 2013, the unnamed undercover agent allegedly paid Chow co-defendant Keith Jackson $37,000 in consulting fees to facilitate illegal activity.

As early as November 2012, an FBI wiretap request noted that the investigation team’s leader had concerns about the agent. But according to filings, an FBI “review has not resulted in any formal findings or determinations regarding the credibility of [the agent].”

Another agent, known as David Jordan, posed as a New Jersey mobster who Chow introduced to his compatriots.

Jordan eventually bought drugs and guns from Kongphet “Fat Joe” Chanthavong and was given honorary entry into the Ghee Kung Tong headed by Chow.

In court last week in questioning from the prosecution two agents were mentioned.

But other agents were involved in everything from working deals with Chow’s compatriots to donating money to Mayor Ed Lee, according to filings.

One undercover FBI agent, listed as UCE-4773 –posing as a Michael King–, appeared to be working with Zula Jones and Human Rights Commissioner Nazly Mohajer to illegally break up $10,000 campaign donations for Lee, a filing showed.

The FBI also used at least 11 confidential sources in their investigation.

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Read more criminal justice news on the Crime Ink page in print. Follow us on Twitter: @sfcrimeinkCharles BreyerChinatownCrimeFederal CourtGhee Kung TongOrganized CrimeShrimp BoyU.S. District Court

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