[VIDEO] Gun-Trafficking Senator Update: Leland Yee Appears in Court, Bail Kept at $500,000, Plans to Plead Not GuiltyPosted: March 31, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO — Suspended State Sen. Leland Yee appeared briefly in federal court in San Francisco Monday and was told that his bail will remain at $500,000 while he awaits a trial on corruption and gun trafficking charges.
“Yee is also accused of a seventh charge of trafficking in firearms without a license, in connection with an alleged proposal to ship guns to a Muslim rebel group in the Philippines. The alleged plan was discussed with an undercover agent who was posing a Mafia member.”
Yee, 65, wearing a dark gray business suit and white shirt, said nothing during the appearance before U.S. Magistrate Nathaniel Cousins.
Cousins ordered him to return to court on April 8 for either an arraignment on a possible grand jury indictment or, if no indictment is issued, a preliminary hearing on a criminal complaint filed by federal prosecutors last week.
Outside of court, Yee’s attorney, Paul DeMeester, said he expects an indictment and said Yee will plead not guilty.
DeMeester declined to comment on whether Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, is considering stepping down from his state Senate post.
Yee was arrested by the FBI on Wednesday, withdrew his candidacy for secretary of state on Thursday, and was suspended along with two other legislators by the state Senate on Friday.
“The politics is now behind us. We’re concentrating on the case,” said DeMeester, who also declined to comment on Yee’s defense strategy.
A grand jury indictment would replace the criminal complaint filed under seal March 24 and is the normal next step in a federal criminal case.
It could contain either the same charges as the complaint or additional charges.
Yee currently faces six counts of scheming to defraud citizens of his honest services by allegedly soliciting and accepting campaign contributions in exchange for using his position to aid the purported donors, who were in fact undercover FBI agents.
He is also accused of a seventh charge of trafficking in firearms without a license, in connection with an alleged proposal to ship guns to a Muslim rebel group in the Philippines. The alleged plan was discussed with an undercover agent who was posing a Mafia member….read more…
- Leland Yee Plans Not Guilty Plea, As “Shrimp Boy” Chow Remains Lawyerless (sfappeal.com)
- Leland Yee Appears in Court Again Today, No Plea Entered (blogs.sfweekly.com)
- Leland Yee Remains Free on $500,000 Bail After Court Hearing (blogs.kqed.org)
- Sen. Leland Yee Due In Federal Court Monday (sacramento.cbslocal.com)
- Elaborate FBI Sting Ensnares California Politician Leland Yee (theepochtimes.com)
- Who is the real Leland Yee? Earnest California state senator’s double life leads to ‘epic swan dive’ (aviewfromthebrink.typepad.com)
- Lawmaker Yee’s lawyer questions FBI investigation (sfgate.com)