Noted gangster Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow was arrested during an FBI sweep of San Francisco's Chinatown district on charges ranging from drug and weapons trafficking, to money laundering and fraud, to murder for hire. But despite being locked up tight in federal custody, Chow has managed to maintain an active social media presence.
From a post made on his Facebook page on Thursday night, Chow stated:
"Thank you to all of those who continue to believe and support me. Many of you know me, see me each day, and know my heart.
Thank you for your love."
This remark garnered a great deal of likes, shares and assorted comments from Chow's 1,500 some-odd followers, as well as some disparaging retorts, which have since been taken down. Chow has posted several times since, including posting one picture of him clad from head to toe in acid washed denim, and riding a miniature mechanical horse. An impressive feat, (the posting, not the actual horseback riding) especially considering that Chow ostensibly has zero internet access from his cell in federal holding.
San Francisco news outlet sfist has posited that Shrimp Boy is either dictating his messages to a proxy, or is gaining access to a computer inside the jail somehow.
Raymond 'Shrimp Boy' Chow has been a force in the San Francisco underworld since 1976, when he emigrated to the US from Hong Kong, at the age of 16. He worked as an enforcer for the Hop Sing Tong fraternal club, making the rounds to neighborhood brothels and gambling houses, collecting protection payments and busting heads when needed. He quickly made a name for himself as rose to a leadership position with the Hop Sing Boys.
A gang war in 1977 culminated in a firefight in the middle of the Golden Dragon, a local restaurant very popular with tourists. By the time the bullets stopped whizzing around, 5 people were dead, and Shrimp Boy was on his way to San Quentin, where he would spend the next 11 years.
He was arrested again in 1992, this time as part of a massive racketeeering investigation involving gangs on both US coasts, as well as the Wo Hop To Triad in Hong Kong. Chow faced 48 counts, including murder for hire, heroin trafficking, violent racketeering, and firearms importing. When he was convicted on the gun charges, Shrimp Boy faced another 23 years in prison.
Chow received a shortened sentence in exchange for information on some of his business associates that were just a little higher up on the food chain. In 2003, he was once again a free man.
Chow vowed not to make the same mistakes again. He publicly shunned his criminal past, became involved in community politics, and spoke openly at outreach programs to troubled youths about the dangers of gang life. He was photographed arm in arm with San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, and received honors US Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Then Wednesday, he was arrested right alongside another senator. This time it was State Senator Leland Yee, who was swept up along with Shrimp Boy as part of federal corruption investigation, for conspiring to deal illegal firearms in exchange for campaign contributions.
If convicted, it is possible if not likely that Raymond 'Shrimp Boy' Chow will spend the rest of his life in prison.