Anti-Gun California State Senator Sentenced to Five Years in Prison on Gun Trafficking and Racketeering Charges

Christine Rousselle
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Posted: Feb 25, 2016 8:45 AM
Anti-Gun California State Senator Sentenced to Five Years in Prison on Gun Trafficking and Racketeering Charges

In 2014, California State Senator Leland Yee (D) was arrested on corruption charges after he attempted to make a deal with an undercover agent to purchase shoulder-fired missiles from Islamic rebels in the Philippines.

And that's how prosecutors say Yee ended up sitting across from an undercover federal agent in a coffee shop in early March, brokering what he was told was a $2 million arms deal that would include the purchase of shoulder-fired missiles from Islamic rebels in the Philippines.

While this alone would be shocking enough, the fact that Yee had been a prominent gun control advocate, and sponsored multiple anti-gun bills throughout his time in the Senate, made the allegations all the more shocking. (And a somewhat delicious irony.)

On Thursday, Lee and his fellow conspirators were sentenced to five years in prison. A request for leniency in light of his public service was denied by the judge.

Former state Sen. Leland Yee was sentenced by a federal judge in San Francisco today to five years in prison for his political corruption conviction.

Yee's campaign fundraiser, political consultant and former school board president Keith Jackson was also sentenced today to nine years in prison by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer.

Yee, 67, and Jackson, 51, pleaded guilty before Breyer on July 1 to one count of participating in a racketeering conspiracy to solicit bribes in the form of campaign contributions in exchange for political favors by Yee.

They admitted that Yee received more than $40,000 in such payments, funneled to him by Jackson, and also admitted to plotting in a never-completed international arms deal in which weapons would be smuggled from the Philippines.

On Reddit, commenters noted how Yee once publicly fought against the video game Grand Theft Auto--"probably because he lived it."