Chinatown association leader Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow has been indicted by a federal grand jury in San Francisco on new charges of participating in two murders in 2006 and 2013.
The revised indictment, issued Thursday and posted on the court docket Friday, adds the new charges to previous charges of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering and conspiring to receive stolen property.
The indictment charges Chow with murder in aid of racketeering by causing the gunfire slaying of Allen Leung, Chow's predecessor as the dragonhead, or leader, of the Chee Kung Tong fraternal association.
Leung was killed by a masked gunman at his import-export business office on Jackson Street in San Francisco on Feb. 27, 2006. The murder charge carries a potential death penalty if Chow is
It will be up to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to decide whether federal prosecutors in San Francisco should in fact seek a death penalty against Chow.
Chow is also charged in a second new count with conspiracy to solicit the murder of a former associate, Jim Tat Kong, who was found dead of a gunshot wound in his car in Mendocino County on Oct. 17, 2013. That charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Chow is due to go on trial in the court of U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer on Nov. 2 on the previously filed charges and on the new charge of soliciting Kong's murder. But the trial will not include the charge of Leung's murder.
At a hearing Thursday, Breyer said he will order a separate, later trial on that count.
The judge made that ruling after Chow said he did not want to delay the trial for two months or more while the Justice Department deliberates on whether to seek a death penalty for Leung's murder.
If the attorney general decides to ask for a death penalty on that charge, it would affect jury selection because it would be necessary to choose jurors willing to vote for capital punishment.
Chow pleaded not guilty to the revised indictment at an arraignment before a federal magistrate this morning.Jury selection for the upcoming trial will take place next week and opening statements will begin on Nov. 2.
Also on Monday, Breyer will hear arguments on a defense motion for disclosure of the identities of two undercover FBI agents who will testify against Chow.
The racketeering charge carries a potential sentence of life in prison upon conviction. Chow was one of 29 people indicted last year in a wide-ranging indictment that included both organized-crime charges against most defendants and political corruption charges against former state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo.