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Raymond ‘Shrimp Boy’ Chow co-defendants unexpectedly plead guilty

September 10, 2015

By Bob Egelko : sfgate – excerpt

What began last year as a sprawling investigation into political corruption, gun-running and murder plots in San Francisco narrowed its focus Wednesday to a single defendant: Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, the onetime Chinatown gang leader, later an ex-con lauded for his redeeming community work, and finally the leader of a community organization he allegedly converted to a criminal enterprise.

Six of Chow’s co-defendants pleaded guilty in federal court to money laundering and trafficking in stolen goods, catching prosecutors by surprise and raising question marks about the next scheduled phase of the case, a Nov. 2 trial of all six, plus Chow and another defendant, on charges of racketeering…

That would leave the spotlight on Chow, who faces a much longer sentence if convicted and is being held without bail.Curtis Briggs, one of his lawyers, cast Wednesday’s guilty pleas as a victory.

“The government’s racketeering theory just lost all credibility,” Briggs told reporters, noting that most of the defendants, in their admissions of guilt, had not mentioned any actions by Chow, the alleged leader of the criminal enterprise.

But one defendant, George Nieh, 42, said in his guilty plea that he had conspired with Chow in sales of stolen liquor and stolen cigarettes to undercover agents. That admission seems to contradict Chow’s claim that he steadfastly resisted agents’ pressure to approve criminal activity. Nieh also pleaded guilty to illegal sales of guns and marijuana and to 130 counts of money laundering…

Four other defendants in the case pleaded guilty in July, including Yee.

Sixteen more defendants charged in the undercover investigation are awaiting trial… (more)

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