San Francisco, CA — A judge has sentenced former California state senator Leland Yee in a racketeering case to five years despite prosecutors calling for lengthier sentence.
In July 67-year-old Yee, who has been free while awaiting sentencing, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in racketeering. On Wednesday during his sentencing, Senior District Court Judge Charles Breyer called the weapons allegations against Yee, a gun control advocate, “unfathomable.” He charged it was frightening that Yee would be willing to go entirely against his public position on guns in exchange for money.
In a plea deal, Yee admitted to accepting thousands of dollars in bribes and discussed helping an undercover FBI agent buy automatic weapons from the Philippines. Prosecutors wanted an eight-year sentence to reflect the extent of Yee’s crimes. Yee’s attorneys argued for a lighter sentence citing that Yee had a history of public service and his wife was ill.
A probe of organized crime in San Francisco’s Chinatown led to Yee’s and dozens of other arrests, including gang leaders Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, who a jury found guilty of murder and racketeering in January.