Undercover FBI agent was removed from Leland Yee case 

click to enlarge Keith Jackson
  • In this file photo taken March 16, 2011, Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, second from right, poses with several inducted consultants, including Keith Jackson, left, a former San Francisco school board member, at the Chee Kung Tong spring banquet in San Francisco.
One of the lead undercover FBI agents in the years-long investigation into state Sen. Leland Yee and Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow was removed from the case in 2013 for financial misconduct, according to court documents filed Thursday.

The unnamed agent joined the case when he was introduced by another undercover agent to Keith Jackson, a former San Francisco Board of Education member and associate of Yee’s who is also charged in the case. The agent was posing as an Atlanta-based real estate investor, according to the documents, which were filed by Jackson’s attorney James Brosnahan.

Yee, Chow, Jackson and 20 others charged in the case were arrested during a series of FBI raids in March. They face a variety of charges, including extortion, arms trafficking, murder for hire, and drug trafficking and sales.

From 2012 to 2013, the unnamed undercover agent allegedly paid Jackson $37,000 in consulting fees to facilitate illegal activity.

Brosnahan is seeking internal documents about the agent’s discipline and removal, along with his identity, as part of Jackson’s defense.

“This prosecution is based largely on an undercover operation led by” the agent in question, said the filing. “An FBI internal investigation into misconduct of undercover officers is significant potential impeachment evidence.”

As early as November 2012, an FBI wiretap request noted that the investigation team’s leader had concerns about the agent. But according to the filing, an FBI “review has not resulted in any formal findings or determinations regarding the credibility of [the agent].”

In early 2013, according to the filing, the agent was no longer involved in the case, but there is no clear explanation as to why.

Still, the filing said there was a “series of outrageous behavior” on the part of the agent that might explain why he was removed.

That behavior included arranging $20,000 or more in donations to local elected officials in 2012, looking into hosting a fundraiser of $250,000 for a senior federal elected officials, and meetings with a “prominent former athlete” in 2012 in order to talk about a hotel deal.

The FBI would not comment on the filing Thursday.

About The Author

Jonah Owen Lamb

Jonah Owen Lamb

Born and raised on a houseboat in Sausalito, Lamb has written for newspapers in New York City, Utah and the San Joaquin Valley. He was most recently an editor at the San Luis Obispo Tribune for nearly three years. He has written for The S.F. Examiner since 2013 and covers criminal justice and planning.
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