A San Francisco Sheriff’s deputy investigated for his connections to a defendant in the Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow trial is no longer working for the department following an FBI investigation into his actions launched more than two years ago.
Sgt. Michael Kim is no longer part of the department, but the Sheriff’s Department would not say when his employment ended or under what circumstances. But they did confirm an internal affairs investigation remains suspended, possibly indicating that the FBI investigation is ongoing.
Former Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi asked internal affairs to open an investigation into Kim in August 2014, said Eileen Hirst, chief of staff for the department.
Soon after that investigation was launched, the FBI asked the department for information in the case and internal affairs suspended their investigation.
“It’s suspended pending the outcome of the FBI investigation,” said Hirst, who would not say exactly when Kim left the department, citing privacy laws.
An FBI spokesman said the agency cannot confirm or deny whether there is an investigation.
The department opened its investigation after filings from the federal “Shrimp Boy” case alleged that Kim had formerly been in a gang with ties to Chow and still spent time with defendants in the case.
Chow confidante Andy Li, who once described to an FBI agent ways to kill people, was allegedly the enforcer for Chow’s Chinatown Ghee Kung Tong — which the FBI has called a criminal gang — and had an ongoing friendship with Kim, according to court filings released in 2014.
The story of Kim starts with the March 2014 raids that nabbed Chow, former state Sen. Leland Yee and roughly 20 others. In those raids, FBI agents found a ballistic vest that was the property of the Sheriff’s Department, which had been left in Li’s possession by Kim, according to the filing.
“A member of the San Francisco County Sheriff’s Office decided that he wanted to leave a ballistic vest belonging to the Sheriff’s Office at the workplace of Ms. Li — Li’s wife — because he didn’t want it in his car,” noted the filing in reference to declarations made by Li, his wife and Kim.
It is unclear what prompted the investigation into Kim, who has said he left his vest at Li’s.
Kim, who has been employed by the department since 1999 and worked in jail administration, was not put on leave during the investigation.
According to the filing, Kim has had a longtime connection with Li and is a former gang member.
Li told one undercover agent on more than one occasion that he had a “good friend who worked in the Sheriff’s Office,” and that “officer had been a member of … Chow’s organization when he was young,” court documents say. He called that friend “Mike.”
Li tried and failed to get an undercover FBI agent posing as a Mafioso to meet with his friend, and told the agent, known as David Jordan, that the “officer would not do anything to stop or arrest” Li and the undercover agent regarding their “illegal businesses.”
In November 2012, according to court exhibits of California Highway Patrol incident reports, Li was with Kim when he flipped his truck in a drunk driving incident.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article reported that Sgt. Michael Kim was fired from the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department. Kim was not fired; however, the department declined to explain the nature of his departure.
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