Ex-Calif. State Sen. Leland Yee, gun control champion, heading to prison for weapons trafficking

San Francisco Chinatown Crime 0faae

From the Washington Post

This Wednesday, Yee received a five-year prison sentence for accepting bribes and trafficking in arms.

After initially denying culpability, Yee pleaded guilty to the charges last summer.

“I hope that in your sentencing of me, you will look at my entire life and not just these crimes I have committed,” the senator implored U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported. “In the 67 years of my life, I have devoted much of it to the work of the community, to people here in San Francisco and in the state of California.”

Yee added that he was most ashamed to have hurt his family and supporters: “That will always weight on me, and that will always haunt me for the rest of my life.”

Breyer was unsympathetic to the calls for leniency. While holding public office, Yee had accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions in exchange for political favors. And on the side, he and two associates had been involved in a weapons trafficking plot.

These acts were discovered by undercover federal agents investigating organized crime in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Jackson, a former school board president who helped Yee facilitate the bribes, received a nine-year sentence.

“It must be that the public has trust in the integrity of the institution, and Mr. Yee, you abused that trust,” Breyer said, according to the Times. He called Yee’s actions “vile” and the arms dealings particularly “hypocritical” given the politician’s history of gun control advocacy.