Raymond ‘Shrimp Boy’ Chow has been thugging since he came to ChinaTown from Hong Kong at age 16. Federal prosecutors label him the Dragon Head of Ghee Kung Tong, but that ain’t none of our business. Investigators are charging Shrimp Boy with leading a criminal enterprise that traffics weapons, cigarettes, and liquor. The indictment spread like cancer, and eventually swept up everyone, including former state senator, Leland Yee.
Is Raymond Chow a greedy gang leader serving rubbish to Hollyweird’s underbelly? Racketeering is one thing, but now the FBI is pinning Shrimp Boy with murder too! The investigation suggests he murdered his predecessor, Ghee Kong Tung (Allen Leung). Raymond also supposedly orchestrated the killing of gang rival Jim Kat and his wife. Secret tapes recorded Feds pressuring Chow’s lieutenant, Andy Li, for information about the killings. How could Shrimp Boy commit such a horrific crime?
Referring to Chow as “Dai Lo,” Cantonese for big brother or boss, the agent tells Li: “The Dai Lo is never going to ask anybody to do anything. You just gotta do it.”
The defense is accusing the government of player hating as usual. Lawyers, J Tony Serra, and Curtis L. Briggs, are all too familiar with the government’s schemes. The government is not only jealous of Shrimp Boy’s power, and respect. Raymond Chow testified for the government and snitched his way from 25 to 3 years back in the day. Millions of tax payer dollars have been wasted on trying to capture Raymond Shrimp Boy Chow, but lawyers claim he’s gone straight. Government officials bought lavish hotels, expensive dinners and top shelf booze to lure Chow into criminal activity. They even took him on a fishing trip to Hawaii. Now the case is being dismissed.
According to the motion to dismiss, the government’s errors began with a misinterpretation of the white suit Chow wore to the 2006 funeral of Alan Leung, the former Ghee Kung Tong dragonhead. (The FBI believed white to be a sign of Chow’s “rise to power,” the motion said. Chow, who has been charged with arranging Leung’s killing, contends he wore white as a Chinese symbol of respect.)
“Operation Whitesuit,” launched as an investigation into alleged criminal behavior by Chow, eventually snared 28 other defendants. Among them was Yee, who was connected to Chow through a political fundraiser.
The multi-year probe relied heavily on UCE 4599, who “after failing at legitimately snagging Chow, independently engaged in criminal acts with people who knew Raymond” and were drawn to the expensive dinners and drinks the agent showered on “all who would show up,” the defense motion said.
Transcripts of body wire recordings included in the document indicated that UCE 4599 had plied Chow with alcohol, then pressured him to commit crimes and accept cash. Affidavits submitted by the agent, the defense contends, mischaracterized the encounters.
One, for example, noted only that Chow had said “No, no, no” before taking an envelope full of cash and placing it in his sport coat. The defense, citing the recordings, painted a more detailed scene of the agent’s persistence.
“Ya, I’m drunk! No, no, no, no,” Chow said as “Dave” pressed the envelope on him. “No, I’m, I’m good. I’m good,” Chow continued.
In another instance, Chow said he was “hella drunk.” As he tried to forcibly return another envelope of cash, the agent told him: “Stop. Stop.”
According to the prosecution, Chow merely pretended to keep his hands clean while making the introductions necessary for his criminal enterprises to flourish. Transcripts included in the defense motion, however, depicted Chow repeatedly attempting to distance himself from illegal activity.
“Listen, I’m just helping them. You know, but you’re helping me,” UCE 4599 said.
“No,” Chow replied. “I did not help you! I don’t even know what you guys doing!'”
Sound to us like an undercover agent got a 5 year vacation to hang out with the cool kids. Why are Feds investing so much cash into Raymond?
By alleging “outrageous government conduct,” on the other hand, the defense will be able to focus on that rather than Chow’s history. Breyer cannot instruct the jury to consider the conduct as a potential reason to acquit — as he could with an entrapment defense. But the jury nevertheless might be influenced by the material, Weisberg said. The defense also could ask Breyer to step in at a later point in the proceedings and issue an acquittal on his own. The question he must ponder, Weisberg said, will be: “Is this government conduct so egregious that it would cause even an innocent guy to cave?”
A half-dozen of Chow’s co-defendants have pleaded guilty, and two are expected to testify that they heard Chow order the killings. Another witness serving prison time in an unrelated case is set to testify to driving Chow and a “henchman” to Leung’s office on the night of his slaying — and later watching them disassemble guns and toss them into the bay.
The defense has moved to exclude testimony from those witnesses as unreliable; further, they intend to argue that none of the criminal concepts came from Chow.
The government, the defense motion stated, supplied Chow “with all the money in the money-laundering operation, with all of the alcohol in what would become an illegal alcohol operation, and with all the cigarettes in the cigarette operation.” And the ideas for all those schemes “originated with UCE 4599.”