Shortly after Senator Leland Yee was arrested today on charges of bribing and corruption, Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, who has a long criminal record and connections to Chinatown gangs, was also pinched at the Ghee Kung Tong Supreme Lodge. What's more, authorities had to bring in both the Jaws of Life and a saw to crack open a safe containing God knows what, but certainly something terribly exciting.

This is getting good, folks.

SF Appeal has more:

Among the arrestees was also Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, who has a lengthy prior criminal history dating back to the 1970s and connections to Chinatown-based gangs. Chow was arrested at the lodge, Lee said.


Uniformed agents were leaving the red building throughout the morning, with some of them carrying bulletproof vests in their hands.

At around 11:30, a small group of San Francisco firefighters brought into the Ghee Kung Tong building a circular saw and a hand-held Jaws of Life tool. They declined to offer details on why the equipment was needed.

Let's start with the Ghee Kung Tong and why it's so controversial. See, while most San Francisco Tongs are social clubs for older Chinese-American men, reports like this one from 2007 illustrate the ties many still have to organized crime. Just look at how many buildings in Chinatown bear the name Tong to see its heady influence.

As for Chow, the head of the Hung Moon Ghee Kong Tong, he gets his name from his small stature; he's petit and he embraces it with aplomb. A former Chinese American leader of the Hop Sing Boys, "Chow was also present at the scene of the Golden Dragon Massacre in 1977," reports United Gangs, adding that "in 1978 Shrimp Boy was founded guilty in 1978 for strong-arm robbery and sentenced to 11 years of which he did 7 years and 4 months."

After being released from the clink in 2003, Chow became a changed man and a bit of a local celebrity. He was even been "chosen on Gangland’s Most Notorious OG as narrated by gangsta rap artists Snoop Dogg and Ice T." His Facebook page, which is all kinds of unapologetic fabulousness, shows a bevy of images featuring Shrimp Boy posing next to beauty pageant contestants and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. Behold:

Here's an old ABC 7 reports on Chow. "But the police still think he's up to no good," prefaces reporter Alan Wang. Indeed.

Shrimp Boy is, quite possibly, the most fascinating man in SF. (At least today he is, anyway.) More to come.

UPDATE: Raymond Chow charged with 8 crimes, mainly money laundering charges. Former school board president Keith Jackson is also in custody.

[SF Appeal]
[United Gangs]
[SF Mag]