Yee and others indicted by federal grand jury, reinforcing criminal complaint

Leland Yee leaving last's week's arraignment on criminal charges.
Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

A federal grand jury has indicted Sen. Leland Yee and 28 others on charges similar to those issued in the bombshell criminal complaint by the FBI last week, the Sacramento Bee is reporting. The indictment named three additional defendants who weren’t in the original complaint: Barry Blackwell House (aka Barry Black), Zhanghao Wu, and Ton Zao Zhang.

Yee, political consultant Keith Jackson, Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, and the rest of the gang face most of the same charges that they do in the complaint, with the Bee reporting that Yee faces a sentence of 125 years in prison and $1.75 million in fines.

US Attorney Melinda Haag issued a statement casting the indictment as strengthening the case against the defendants, but when the Guardian called with questions about why authorities chose to go with a criminal complaint followed by an indictment, an unusual move, a spokesperson told us, “Our office will not be making any comments on this case.”

For details on the case and a timeline of how it unfolded, read our story in this week’s Guardian.