Former State Senator Leland Yee pleads guilty to racketeering

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Disgraced former St. Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, has accepted a plea deal with federal prosecutors who indicted him on public corruption charges. Three other defendants linked to Yee also changed their pleas on Wednesday.

According to their lawyers, none of the four will have to cooperate with the government against the other defendants in this case. The judge allowed Yee to remain on bail until he is sentenced.

Yee was among dozens arrested in March of last year following a long FBI sting. He was the most prominent -- the big fish.

It turns out he was the first to make a deal with the feds. He left the courthouse immediately after entering his plea and did not respond to reporters' questions as he entered a waiting car. Yee was set to go to trial next month on political corruption, money laundering and gun running charges.

Instead, he agreed to a plea deal with federal prosecutors -- guilty to one count of racketeering of taking part in a criminal enterprise to use his political position to accept bribes. Three other defendants also pleaded guilty in separate plea agreements.

Former San Francisco school president and Yee confidant Keith Jackson pleaded guilty to the same racketeering charge. His attorney James Brosnahan blasted the FBI for ensnaring his client during their elaborate sting.

"Is this government doing what we want them to do? Do we really want Washington people sitting back there doing this? My answer is no, we don't," Brosnahan said.

Jackson's son Brandon also pleaded guilty, but to a separate racketeering charge linking him with a Chinatown fraternal group headed by reputed Chinatown mobster Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, who was also indicted in this case.

Sports agent Marlon Sullivan also pleaded guilty to the same racketeering count with additional underlying crimes. His defense attorney Randolph Daar said, "He was associated and helped in the transfer of guns, the attempted purchase of ten kilos of cocaine and conspiracy to commit murder."

Yee and the other three defendants will be sentenced later this year. Yee faces up to 20 years in federal prison and the others face various sentences ranging from four to 10 years.
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