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Here’s a wrinkle in the taxi bribery charges against politically connected Chinatown restauranteur Tony Cheng and his son. While prosecutors were pressuring the two to cooperate in a larger federal investigation, Tony Cheng Jr. was getting permission to carry a gun.

On April 22, Cheng applied for a concealed weapons permit, according to Virginia court records. His application was rejected in May, apparently because it didn’t include proof that he had taken a gun training course. After Cheng included proof of competency in an addendum to his application, he was approved for the permit on June 10.

All this would have been going on in the shadow of the federal investigation. Ken Robinson, the lawyer for the elder Tony Cheng, says that federal prosecutors began asking them to cooperate around six months ago after playing tapes of the alleged bribery.

Eric Kirchman, the younger Cheng’s lawyer, said he didn’t know about any concealed weapons permit, and confirmed that investigators wanted Cheng Jr. to cooperate on a larger corruption investigation. “He has nothing he can cooperate about,” Kirchman says.

Photo by Flickr user Tim Evanson used under a Creative Commons license