What is definitely one of the more ironic stories lately, Senator Leland Yee (D-CA), a staunch proponent and advocate of g*n control legislation as well as the disarmament of the American people, has been sentenced to 5 years in prison for firearms trafficking.
Yee was originally divided by the FBI for conspiracy to cope firearms without a license and also to import firearms. At the time of the bust, the AP reported of Yee also accepting tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and cash payments to provide introductions, help a customer get a contract and influence legislation.
Federal prosecutors also state Yee consented to carry out official acts in exchange for the money, including one instance in which he introduced a businessman to say legislators who had considerable influence on impending medical marijuana laws.
In exchange, the businessman — who was actually an undercover FBI agent — agreed to donate tens of thousands to Yee’s campaign fund, according to the original indictment.
Yee acknowledged in the plea bargain he was accountable for defrauding “citizens of honest services” and has been included in a scheme to traffic guns in exchange for thousands in campaign donations to the senator.
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Yee confessed accepting $11,000 in exchange for setting up a meeting with a different state senator, $10,000 for advocating someone to get a grant, and $6,800 for providing a certificate on California State Senate letterhead honoring the Ghee Kung Tong.
He also confessed he discussed assisting an undercover FBI agent buy automatic weapons in the Philippines that were intended to be brought into the U.S. for supply.
House of Cards?
Yee served at the ranks of Bay Area politics since the late 1980s, when he had been elected to the San Francisco School Board. He then proceeded to sit the city’s Board of Supervisors and in the state Assembly. From 2006 onwards, Yee served as a state senator with plans to push towards a secretary of state effort when his political aspirations were derailed by having his dirty laundry vulnerable and a federal indictment in March 2014.
In court, Yee begged mercy from Senior District Court Judge Charles Breyer. In the sentencing hearing, Judge Breyer wasn’t having it also called the weapons allegations against Yee unfathomable and stated it was terrifying that Yee will be willing to go entirely contrary to his public place on g**s in exchange for money.
Yee stated to Judge Breyer — “I hope that in your sentencing of me personally, you will look at my entire life instead of just these crimes I have committed. From the 67 years of my life, I have dedicated a lot of it into the work of the community, to people here in San Francisco and in the country of California.”
Judge Breyer responded throughout the hearing, stating — “I don’t feel I should be lenient. The crimes that you committed have led to basically an assault on democratic institutions. It must be that the public has confidence in the integrity of this institution, and Mr. Yee, you abused that trust.”
Judge Breyer went on to call Yee’s activities “vile” and also the arms connections especially “hypocritical” awarded the politician’s history of g*n controller advocacy.
Still, Breyer’s sentence fell on the low end of guidelines which called for a prison term of between four decades and 9 months and six years.
Prosecutors had recommended an eight-year sentence. Yee’s lawyers had called for no more than five decades and three months behind bars, stating Yee had a history of public service and also his wife was ill. Yee has been free pending sentencing. Breyer ordered him to concede in 30 days. Yee and his attorney declined to comment outside the courtroom.
Yee told CBS two years ahead of his arrest — “It is extremely important that individuals in the state of California do not own assault weapons. I mean that’s just so crystal clear — there is not any debate, no discussion”
As a legislator, Yee affirmed rigorous gram*n control laws and has been named to the Brady Campaign’s G*n Violence Prevention Honor Roll.
Prosecutor Susan Badger said during the sentencing hearing that Yee was searching for money to acquire the race for secretary of state because he was being forced in the state Senate by term limits.
Badger stated of Yee — “Senator Yee abused that faith and trust in the worst possible manner. It was not really for personal financial wealth.