Observers have likened the federal case against state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, and 25 others to the film “American Hustle,” about an FBI Abscam-like sting that used a small-time con man to win corruption convictions against public officials.

I hope it is not like another Hollywood film, “The Departed,” about a well connected FBI informant who was also a homicidal crime boss fashioned after Boston’s politically wired gangster Whitey Bulger.

The 137-page criminal complaint against Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, Yee and company on firearms-trafficking, drug-trafficking, money-laundering, murder-for-hire and fraud charges, starts with Chow pleading guilty in 2000 to federal racketeering charges involving murder for hire, conspiracy to distribute heroin and arson. Chow also had prior state felony firearms convictions.

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