SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Despite efforts by prosecutors and the judge overseeing the case, the name of another person targeted, but not charged, by the FBI in the same sting operation that resulted in the arrest of state Sen. Leland Yee and Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow has been leaked: San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.
The investigation stemmed from an investigation into a Chinatown gang led by Chow and it just kept expanding until it appeared like the FBI was looking at just about anybody that was walking and breathing in the Bay Area.
Phil Matier: San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee Was Targeted By FBI In Corruption Case
They brought in agents from Hawaii and just about everywhere else to act as developers, weapons dealers and Mafiosos to try to contribute money to anyone involved in San Francisco and Oakland politics and development—including Joe Montana.
One of the things these agents did was attend a fund raiser for Lee's 2011 mayoral campaign. It's not known, however, what they were looking for. And, as much is known, Lee never responded or did anything for it but it demonstrates how large a net the FBI was casting.
Sources told Matier & Ross that the FBI apparently had undercover agents working on the corruption investigation contribute $20,000 to the mayor.
Three lawyers representing defendants in the case, including Chow's attorney Tony Serra, said Lee's connection was brought up by a fourth defense attorney, James Brosnahan, after he met with prosecutors and the U.S. District Judge, who is overseeing the legal proceedings.
While the FBI has Chinatown gangs, politicians, late-night-meetings in karaoke bars and everything else that's worthy of a movie script in their criminal complaint, they left out everything else—including people, like Lee and Montana, who weren't charged.
The Feds were allowed to pick and choose who and what to put in the complaint but the defense attorneys, are able to see everything during the discovery process.
The prosecutors and the judge want to keep those not charged out of the public eye but the defense thinks that tactic is also being used to hide how much overreach was happening and put the FBI under a negative light.
But now names are starting to be released and there will be more to come. This is huge story with lawyers and the media involved so eventually it's all going to come out, especially if it serves somebody's purpose.
It should be everybody's purpose because the public should know.
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