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Transnational Gangs
10/21/2014

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HSI investigation leads to life sentence for Chinese gang leader

NEW YORK — The leader of a gang that operated for nearly 15 years in the Chinatown neighborhood of Manhattan as well as in Queens, Atlanta, and Toronto, was sentenced Tuesday in Manhattan federal court to life in prison on murder, extortion, and racketeering charges. This life sentence is the result a investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the New York City Police Department.

Following a three-week trial in April 2013, a jury convicted Xing Lin, 42, aka "Ding Pa," of engaging in racketeering from 1996 through 2009, murdering two individuals in a Queens nightclub in 2004, operating multiple illegal gambling parlors, and extorting bus company owners.

"Lin's reign of terror is over. His life sentence sends a clear message that gang violence and all of its accompanying destructive conduct will not be tolerated," said James T. Hayes, Jr., special agent in charge of HSI New York. "HSI will use every tool at our disposal to find and arrest transnational gang members who instill fear and prey on members of their own community."

"With today's sentence, Xing Lin will finally be punished for ordering the murder of two victims, and for his lengthy criminal career of extortion and racketeering," Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern of District of New York. "I would like to thank our law enforcement partners at HSI and the New York City Police Department for their hard work on this case."

According to the superseding indictment, other documents filed in Manhattan federal court, and the evidence presented at trial:

From 1996 until December 2009, Lin was a "Dai Lo" – a Chinese term that refers to the boss of a criminal gang. Lin's gang operated in the Chinatown neighborhood of Manhattan; Flushing, Queens; Atlanta; Toronto; and elsewhere. The members of Lin's gang were known as followers. Lin and his followers, including co-defendant Hao Chao, aka "Little Beijing," engaged in a number of criminal ventures, including the operation of high-stakes illegal gambling parlors, the extortion of business owners, and the beating, stabbing, and murder of rivals.

Beginning in 2002, Lin extorted the owners of a bus company that operated buses between Manhattan and Raleigh, North Carolina. In May 2004, Chang Qin Zhou, one of the bus company shareholders, whom Lin was extorting, refused to pay Lin additional money that he had demanded. During the early morning hours of July 30, 2004, Zhou was with a group of men and women in a private room in a karaoke bar located on Kissena Boulevard in Flushing, Queens. Lin and Chou forced their way into the private room, and Lin ordered Chou to "shoot" Zhou. Chou shot Zhou six times, killing him. One of the bullets also struck and killed Mei Ying Li, a waitress who was working at the karaoke bar and who was in the private room at the time of the shooting. A second waitress was shot in the leg and survived.

Following the shooting in the karaoke bar, Lin relocated his criminal gang to Toronto, where he continued to run gambling parlors and use violence against his rivals.

Lin was arrested in Toronto April 14, 2011. Following extradition, Lin arrived in the United States on Aug. 19, 2011.

In addition to the prison term, Lin, was also ordered to pay a $25,000 fine, and a $400 special assessment fee.

Chou, who was charged in the superseding indictment with murder, extortion, and racketeering offenses, is a fugitive. The allegations against Chou are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/11/2016