Gun-banning, murderer-releasing pol charged with gun trafficking

01senator-leland-yee.preview

He isn’t smiling now, even though he got a bail deal that an ordinary citizen would never see.

Gun trafficking, and corruption. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

[California State Senator Leland] Yee was shackled at the ankles when he appeared in court Wednesday afternoon with 19 other defendants. His demeanor was downcast, and he looked nervously into the packed gallery.

Awwww. Sucks to be him, right?

Yee was charged with six counts of depriving the public of honest services and one count of conspiracy to traffic in guns without a license. If convicted on all the counts, he faces up to 125 years in prison.

The gun charges alone are good for 20 years — longer than Yee believes murderers should do. (We’re seeing a glimmer of rationality in his inmate advocady over the years). The trafficking charges involve guns, yes, but Yee was ready to deal in heavier stuff:

Investigators said Yee discussed helping the agent get weapons worth $500,000 to $2.5 million, including shoulder-fired missiles, and explained the entire process of acquiring them from a Muslim separatist group in the Philippines to bringing them to the U.S., according to an affidavit by FBI agent Emmanuel V. Pascua.

The conspiracy is larger and deeper than that, too.  

According to court documents, Yee performed “official acts” in exchange for donations from undercover FBI agents, as he sought to dig himself out of a $70,000 debt incurred during a failed San Francisco mayoral bid in 2011.

Yee is also accused of accepting $10,000 in January 2013 from an undercover FBI agent in exchange for making a call to the California Department of Public Health in support of a contract it was considering.

The agent who discussed arms with Yee presented himself as a member of Ghee Kung Tong, a fraternal organization in San Francisco’s Chinatown that Chow headed. It was among the sites searched Wednesday.

Firefighters were seen going inside with a circular saw and later said they had cracked a safe. FBI agents exited with boxes and trash bags full of evidence that they loaded into an SUV.

Chow is accused of money laundering, conspiracy to receive and transport stolen property, and conspiracy to traffic contraband cigarettes.

He was denied bail because he was deemed a flight risk and a danger to the public. The Department of Homeland Security has been trying to deport Chow, who is not a U.S. citizen, since he was released from prison in 2005.

Yee is the third Democratic state senator in California to face criminal charges this year. Sen. Rod Wright was convicted of perjury and voter fraud for lying about his legal residence in Los Angeles County, and Sen. Ron Calderon has been indicted on federal corruption charges. Wright and Calderon are taking a voluntary leave of absence, with pay, although Republicans have called for them to be suspended or expelled.

Yee, 65, represents western San Francisco and much of San Mateo County. He is best known for his efforts to strengthen open records, government transparency and whistleblower protection laws, including legislation to close a loophole in state public records laws after the CSU Stanislaus Foundation refused to release its $75,000 speaking contract with former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in 2010.

via California lawmaker faces gun, corruption charges – Washington Times.

The last graf we quoted is nonsense: what Yee is known for is anti-gun extremism, and anti-incarceration activism, whose Senate Bill 9 two years ago shortened the de facto sentence for many of the Golden State’s murderers to 15 years.

Yee got a deal you wouldn’t get, a sweetheart deal from his fellow California state workers, the judges: he’s out on bail. We leave the methods an obscure low-level politician, of demonstrated low integrity, used to secure the half-million for the bail as an exercise for the reader.

Another Yee associate didn’t make bail, as he was also involved in a murder-for-hire scheme.

Bullet Button for AR. This thing disables the mag release, but the inner button (which can be operated with a tool, not by hand) works.

Bullet Button for AR. This thing disables the mag release, but the inner button (which can be operated with a tool, not by hand) works. Yee wanted to ban even ARs so bowdlerized, possibly because of the threat they pose to his fellow criminals.

Yee was in the news in 2012 for an extremist gun control proposal, SB 249. In California, “assault weapons” are already banned, but by replacing a magazine release with a release that requires a tool or the nose of a cartridge to function (a type of release often called a “bullet button” after one of the trade names of such CA-specific gadgets), Golden State inmates can build and own ARs and AKs. This infuriated Yee, who said at the time, “[I]t is a fact that such weapons are more likely to be used to kill an innocent person than used in self-defense. …[T]hese types of gun control laws are effective in preventing gun-related homicides.” Yee ally Darrel Steinberg, who hasn’t yet been indicted in this latest gun-smuggling and corruption scheme, joined him in supporting the bill, saying that “having multiple clips and semi-automatic weapons that can shoot 100 or more bullets” is “a joke,” “ridiculous,” and unnecessary. (Steinberg is crawfishing away from Yee as fast as he can, now). At the time, the Huffington Post said that opposing Yee’s bill was racism, because Yee, who has condemned American gun laws and praises those of “other nations with strict gun access,” presumably including his birthplace, Red China, is asian-American. S. 249 was, in essence, a ban on semi-auto guns with fixed, nondetachable magazines. (It died in committee, even in California, and then was resurrected as a part of a comprehensive gun ban bill that the governor vetoed).

Even the usually somnolent mainstream media noted Yee’s hypocrisy here. A few examples:

  • LA Times: Sen. Yee’s gun control persona clashes with picture in FBI affidavit. A few gems in here. “In 2006, Yee was named to the Gun Violence Prevention Honor Roll by the Brady Campaign.” Compare, from Yee’s bagman Jackson: “Yee fully understood the check being provided to Sen. Yee’s campaign was solely for the purpose of getting an introduction to the arms dealer.”
  • The Sacramento Bee: FBI: California Sen. Leland Yee took bribes, trafficked guns. The Bee actually holds Yee’s party affiliation (the same as the Bee reporters’, naturally) for the third paragraph. The pro-Yee reporters manage to bury his gun control activism much deeper: 13 paragraphs down. That’s doin’ a brother a solid, eh? It’s only in the 17th paragraph, about 15 grafs further than most newspaper readers go, that they submit to the irony with: “The same year the undercover agent got Yee to facilitate the illegal gun transaction, the senator carried a pair of gun control bills.”
  • San Jose Mercury News: State Sen. Leland Yee indicted on arms trafficking, corruption charges (not linked due to presence of Undertone malware). This story noted that among the arms Yee said he could provide from Phillipines-based Chinese arms dealer Wilson Lim were M16 rifles. They did mention him being part of the Senate’s Democratic establishment in the first graf, though.
  • ABC News: California State Sen. Leland Yee Indicted on Weapons Charges, Was Gun Control Crusader. Well, he still is a gun-control crusader; reports indicate he’s refused to resign his seat, or suspend his campaign for statewide office. ABC quotes Alan Gottlieb of the CCRKBA:”If these allegations are true, Sen. Yee is easily the biggest hypocrite on gun control to walk the halls of the capitol in Sacramento, if not the entire United States.”  Actually, he’s pretty typical.
  • Forbes: California Democrat And Gun Control Advocate Charged With Arms Trafficking. This story also notes that Yee wasn’t just opposed to the 2nd Amendment, but also the 1st — he fought for a ban on violent video games. And “Yee and Jackson were involved in the trafficking conspiracy to such a degree that they even discussed the specific details of the types of weapons the undercover agent was interested in buying and importing.” And the interesting fact that Yee is only one of three California Senators indicted this year — all democrats. Forbes also notes what some stories miss, that Yee is specifically charged with dealing in stolen firearms.

conversely, the conservative and gun blogs are exploding in schadenfreude.

See ya in 10 to 20, Mr Yee. Yee is (as mentioned above) a Brady Campaign Honor Roll member (you keep using that word, “honor.” It does not mean what you think it means) and as one might expect is rated 0% by the Gun Owners of California, and D by NRA. (Why not F? Because being an incumbent is worth a letter grade or three to the spaghetti-spines at NRA?).

As the story percolated, unindicted Yee associate Steinberg was quoted telling employees of the thoroughly corrupt State Senate to “hold your heads high” and not “feel down about the institution.” Why?

Yee was dealing arms — stolen guns, automatic weapons, shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles — to undercover agents he thought were terrorists and criminals for at least three years (the FBI’s had wired people talking to him since 2011). While he was pursuing restrictions on California’s much-abused gun owners. While he was pursuing an end to life sentences for young murderers.

Yee’s pro-murderer language:

When a defendant who was under 18 years of age at the time of the commission of the offense for which the defendant was sentenced to imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole has served at least 15 years of that sentence, the defendant may submit to the sentencing court a petition for recall and resentencing.

If you know the Californistan courts, you know that means than no sub-18 murderer (past or present, as the law is retroactive to free currently incarcerated thuggees) will ever get a sentence of more than 15 years again.

Exit question: what’s going to kill more people, your AR-15, or Yee’s murderers? (Yes, Yee’s bill to release violent yout’s at 15 years, when they still have plenty of good killing years ahead of them, passed both houses and was signed by a delighted Governor Moonbeam).

14 thoughts on “Gun-banning, murderer-releasing pol charged with gun trafficking

  1. "Greg"

    you might already know, but this recent post does not go into detail that MOST CA/AWB-compliant AR-15s are easily converted from “bullet button” back to standard mag-release button. All you need is the standard mag-release parts (heck, i think the magazine catch is standard AR?) which was allowable under the previous CA-AWB legislation due to the specific wording of the AWB law as written and a refocused goal of CA anti-gun legislators!!

    1. Hognose Post author

      I’m not familiar with the 2014 state of the law, but the AR Bullet Button in use since 1989 indeed replaces only two parts — the mag release button and spring — with three parts: the outer non-moving perimeter area (the same shape as an AR mag releas button, but it can’t be depressed), the inner round mag-release button, and a different spring. It’s completely reversible should the gun, or the owner, emigrate from the state. Some guns’ bullet buttons including SIG and HK ARs are more complicated.

      We’re not lawyers around here at all WANLAHAA so we don’t know if retaining the standard parts creates an ATF-style “constructive possession” liability. A California (or other extremist gun-ban state) gun lawyer is necessary for CYA here.

  2. Joe

    Brilliant business move on Yee’s part. Ban all semi automatic weapons and watch the prices of the illegal ones smuggled in go up ten fold.

    1. Bill K

      Why go to the effort to compose a rant, when better than myself have done so?:

      America was founded on the notion that most politicians can only be expected to be ornery, low-down crooks. Nobody in those days was fool enough to believe they could be Light-workers, Messiahs and create a world without guns. Thus in the Founder’s view the only way to guard against rogues was to ensure that government remained as small as possible relative to its essential jobs; to change those in office frequently and often, like we change underwear. The Founders saw roguery as the byproduct of high office. And so they wrote a constitution — you know, the document more than a hundred years old that nobody smart reads any more — to keep the weeds down.” – Richard Fernandez

  3. Aesop

    This is Christmas in March!

    The Bureau office in SF is back on my Christmas card list, this being the third Democrat assclown (redundancy alert!) in the CA state senate under indictment, and they hinted there are two more yet to come. And they announced it on a Thursday, rather than bury it Friday with taking out the trash. It will now be the top story here through Monday unless Australian or US Navy searchers stumble across Amelia Earhart’s rusted Lockheed Electra carcass and her dried bones, or catch a live Loch Ness Monster.

    This was big enough to push non-news of the Malaysian Fubar Hunt off the front page and top slot, even among liberal papers and stations, and every channel was all over this since pre-6AM drive time here. It was a 137 page indictment*, including allegations not only of bribery, corruption and weapons trafficking, but offers to help the ersatz bad guys obtain RPG-7s and smuggle them into the US, courtesy of Yee’s contacts in the Chinese tongs, one of whom was also indicted. I’m hoping this makes him a terrorist under any number of new federal statutes since 2001.

    A few random observations:
    1) The first guy to photoshop Yee at a podium with an upraised arm, into prison stripes, and holding an RPG overhead, with a suitable caption like
    “No AK-47s for you, but I can get you an RPG for a small fee…” wins the Internet for the week.
    2) If the NRA doesn’t have a ripping flamethrower of frothing fury on YouTube and the rest of the net by close-of-business tomorrow, they’re bigger assclowns than I thought. They should be playing the all-Yee, all the time, song on the drum, and beating it until the hide resembles a horse that died in the Norman Conquest. the only thing better would be Chuck U Schumer getting caught robbing a bank with an assault rifle, or DiFi having her well-deserved stroke.
    3) CA Senate Democrat President pro tem Steinberg basically said that Yee ought to resign now, and plans to suspend him first thing in the morning whether he does or not.
    This being the third and biggest senate Democrat Senate indictment in recent weeks, Steinberg was trying furiously to beat the flames out along both his arms as he spoke.
    4) Yee’s bid to become the next Secretary of State for CA (the guy who counts votes, certifies petitions, and elections) is now toast. (His lawyer announced that campaign has folded.) And there’s about to be an opening in the CA 8th Senate District.
    5) Once again, even if it’s a Dem-safe district, the gun groups hereabouts ought to pony up a pro-gun candidate or two for both offices to bash the living shit out of Yee and the corruptocrats in Sacramento by running for his seat, and CASecState and nevermind who the opponents are, the minute the seat is officially vacant. In fact, they should find those persons now, and start the races early, and take advantage of the endless free press for weeks this will bring. The campaign should be all Yee, all the time, even if the Dems nominate Mother Theresa’s sister to run from his district.
    6) Yee has been a lifelong anti-gun total tool (he co-authored our asinine pistol microstamping bill way back), so it’s safe to say anyone in the legislature who so much as sticks his head over the parapets with a new anti-gun bill will and should be accused of arms smuggling and corruption by statewide hue and cry, for at least the next 2 years.
    7) Like cockroaches, if this is what Yee’s been up to, there are ten more we haven’t seen doing the same or worse.

    I have to figure that the US Attorney and FBI in SF are going to get some nasty phone calls from DC when Eric Holder catches on to how bad this is going to be for the DNC, and I hope those attorneys and agents enjoy unemployment, or a transfer to the Zimbabwe Legal Liason office at the U.S Embassy there starting next week. OTOH, DiFi was mayor of SF before she bcame a US Senator, and Yee ran for the job in 2011, so dollars to donuts she and her staff are combing her files for stuff to shred before anyone comes calling.

    Yee was released on $500K bond and surrender of his passport, but given that he can bring down Tong leaders, I suspect he’s going to catch a really bad case of semi truck up his ass, or have a building coincidentally collapse on him, long before he sees a courthouse, but if he miraculously evades that fate and makes it to trial, I can barely wait to hear what fabulist whoppers he tells in his defense:
    “I was a secret agent trying to catch terrorists”
    “I ate too much MSG and it melted my brain”
    “Climate change gave me a brain tumor, and I couldn’t help it”.

    But best of all, he was named to the Brady Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence’s Honor Roll in 2006**, and it’s quite a comfort to know they can now be tarred with him as well; and that after serving the city of SF and the State of CA for some 18 years, we can look forward to Yee serving the federal government — for the next 25-200 years, in an orange jumpsuit with numbers on the pocket.

    (Because my HTML-fu sux:)
    *(http://news.kron4.com/news/document-criminal-complaint-state-sen-leland-yee-indicted-on-public-corruption-charges/)
    **(http://sd08.senate.ca.gov/news/2006-08-04-brady-campaign-honor-yee-violence-prevention)

    1. Hognose Post author

      Somehow I knew this would amuse you.

      ETA: while CA was seeing Yee go down, New York had Assemblyman William Scarborough (D-Queens) go down for corruption — claiming per diem reimbursements on days off, for years, apparently — RI State House speaker Gordon Fox (D-Providence) went down for corruption, and Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon (D) went down for truly massive bribe taking. All three, like Yee, were committed gun control activists. We can’t tell if Cannon was a MAIG member because, with some 30 members already in the can for everything from bribes to battery to baby-buggery, MAIG is now too ashamed to list its members online.

      No surprise. They’re all crooks.

  4. Andy

    RICO would be a nice touch about now , I feel that there are more of Yee’s progressive buddies in the Kalifornia Senate are involved with him , would love for this to blow wide open . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

  5. Bill T

    Well, creating gun control laws may be a way to discourage the competition in the gun/weapons trafficking business.

  6. Bill Harzia

    At 9:00 am local time, I’m going to call the local Franchise Tax Board and IRS offices and remind them that Mr. Yee probably hasn’t paid taxes on the money he earned from those illegal arms sales. I suggest that everyone who reads this do the same.

    Taxes for me but not for Yee? Bravo Sierra!

  7. Kirk

    Michelle Malkin made a very interesting point about all this:

    Look at the timing.

    Anyone believe that the DOJ is just casually taking this set of corrupt politicians down, right now? And, that they don’t have a bunch of Republican corruptocrats in their sights, to use during the run-up to the election?

    I think she’s right: This represents a clearing of the deck, in order to get rid of the more egregious examples, while more charges and trumped-up (a la Ted Stevens) prosecutions of ideological opponents awaits for the actual election. All they’re doing here is creating evidence for them to later say “Of course we’re fair! We went after those corrupt Democrats, back in the spring, didn’t we?”.

    Mark my words–There will be more Ted Stevens look-alikes, come the fall.

  8. LFMayor

    Well, I laugh and pray that there’s only one, very personal, “loophole” that he’s going to be concentrating on keeping “closed” here in the near future. Good riddance.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Old Neil Innes song from England:
      Hey ho. Don’t fight it. Nobody can win.
      No matter who you vote for, the Government always gets in.

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