Senator Leeland Ye has long been known as a advocate against violent video games, famously supporting the 2005 bill that became the grounds for Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association. This later became a Supreme Court Decision in 2011 that ruled in favor of video games, saying they are protected speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Yee is a Democrat Senator who represents San Mateo Count and a part of San Francisco County, but apparently he’s been doing a bit more than just running those respective counties from his seat as a senator. Several charges were made against Yee, including conspiracy to illegally transport firearms, conspiracy to deal firearms without a license, six counts of scheme to defraud citizens on his services, and wire fraud.
He was arrested on Wednesday, only to be released later that evening on a $500,000 unsecured bond, and he was scheduled to promptly return to court on Monday, so that the terms of his release could be reevaluated. Yee was attempting to fund his candidacy for the Secretary of State by securing deals with supposed arms dealers, however these dealers were in fact undercover FBI agents.
If Yee is convicted of the multiple violations, he could serve between five and twenty years in federal prison, and a $250,000 dollar fine per count. Yee’s arrest and potential conviction is part of a larger investigation of the San Francisco based Chee Kung Tong criminal organization and its leader, Dragonhead Raymond “Shrimpboy” Chow, a man who investigators describe as signifying a pattern of alleged racketeering activity.
For what it’s worth, Chow was also arrested on money laundering, contraband cigarette trafficking, and stolen property charges. What do you guys think – should the charges against Yee be more delicately handled, or is there no excuse for the level of corruption he displayed?
Source: U.S. Department of Justice