State Sen. Leland Yee who should be the poster boy for a campaign – “If you outlaw guns, only the outlaws will have guns.”
Leland Yee (D-San Fran), one of California’s fiercest anti-gun proponents, has been arrested for wire fraud and conspiring to sell firearms – including M-16-type automatic rifles – military grade weapons – to North Africa.
In the criminal complaint, he is alleged to have told an undercover FBI agent that he had Muslim terrorist contacts in the Philippines who would sell guns. He said he was friends with the MILF – the Moro Islamic Liberation Front – in the Philippines. Yee also told the undercover FBI agent that he had contacts in Russia and the Ukraine.
It wasn’t only gun running. There was one instance in which Yee introduced a businessman to state legislators who had significant influence over pending medical marijuana legislation.
Along with 25 other people, including former school board president Keith Jackson (who was the link), Yee is accused of being involved with an extensive crime ring headed by infamous Chinatown gangster Raymond Chow.
Chow or “Shrimp Boy” was also indicted. Chow is the Dragonhead,” or leader, of the San Francisco-based Ghee Kung Tong organization.
Yee was going to sell firearms in exchange for thousands in campaign donations by the undercover FBI agent posing as a gun purchaser. Yee met with the FBI agent several times.
At their first face-to-face meeting in January, “Senator Yee explained he has known the arms dealer for a number of years and has developed a close relationship with him,” an FBI affidavit says, noting Yee told the agent the arms dealer “has things that you guys want.”
From the indictment: “Yee asked (the agent) to provide an inventory list of desired weapons and he would see what they can do,” and the agent “told Yee he would deliver $2 million in cash.” The agent asked about “shoulder-fired, automatic weapons.” Yee, responded by saying, “The automatic weapons are the equivalent of the M16, automatic service weapon.”
Yee was a major anti-gun advocate before he was arrested as a gun runner. He pushed for legislation against the bullet button, a device designed to make seni-automatic AR-15’s legal in California.
In an interview on KPIX 5, Yee said that he was not going to be intimidated, because he believed so strongly in keeping guns out of the hands of bad guys.
“This is not an easy issue,” Yee said. “But I am a father, and I want our communities to be safe, and god forbid if one of these weapons fell into the wrong hands.”
He said this at the same time he was conspiring to sell, not AR-15s, but automatic military-grade weapons.
The affidavit also said Yee claimed to know a weapons trafficker who he had known for years, who was supplying “cargo containers” of heavy weapons to Muslim rebels in the Philippines.
Yee owed $70,000 for a failed run as mayor which is cited as motivation.
Yee is the third Democratic senator to face 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 from the Legislature.
Yee is charged with conspiracy to traffic in firearms without a license and to illegally import firearms, as well as six counts of scheming to defraud citizens of honest services. Each corruption count is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000, while the gun-trafficking count is punishable by up to five years and $250,000.
Yee wants to make it illegal for the average person to buy guns but he will gladly sell anyone guns from terrorists so anyone can sell them to other terrorists.