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Hacienda Heights man posed as gang member to extort money

July 7, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Hacienda Heights man is facing several serious charges. Investigators said he posed as a high ranking Asian gang member to extort money from Chinese immigrants.

The man is known as Sunny Kim and he is facing a list of charges including possession of weapons and drugs, animal cruelty and child endangerment.

His real name is Sheng Hui Chen. Officials said the 38-year-old was allegedly extorting thousands of dollars from Chinese immigrants and representing himself as a high-ranking member of the United Bamboo gang.

Authorities have also arrested Chen's wife, 31-year-old Yulan Hu, this week after an investigation that began in April.

"The gang investigators were alerted to a family, which allegedly had been forced into subleasing their house to this gentleman who was claiming he was a member of a Bamboo gang," said Deputy Benjamin Grubb of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. "Intimidating them and forcing them into running an illegal hostess operation in their home."

Grubb said the family didn't tell anyone about the situation for several months. They moved out of the house, and when they moved back in, they discovered illegal assault weapons and said that the house was destroyed.

Investigators also learned that Chen was soliciting young Asian women to work in an illegal nightclub he was preparing to open somewhere in the Rowland Heights area.

Investigators said the couple's two children, ages 8 and 9, had access to the drugs and weapons. There were also 15 large dogs found at the couple's home that were extremely malnourished.

Police say that Chen also owns a pet store. Animal control authorities are looking into whether there are additional animal cruelty charges to be filed.

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