Although his father is free on bond while facing similar and heavier charges, the son of former San Francisco school board president Keith Jackson was denied bail by a U.S. magistrate today while he awaits trial on murder-for-hire, firearms and drug conspiracy counts.
U.S. Magistrate Joseph Spero, at a hearing in San Francisco, ruled that Brandon Jackson, 28, of San Francisco, should remain in custody on the grounds that he is a danger to the community.
Spero said he was concerned about allegations that Brandon Jackson engaged in multiple gun sales as well as a $25,000 murder-for-hire plot. The never-completed plot was aimed at a fictitious victim at the behest of an undercover FBI agent posing as a Mafia member.
Spero said he found the allegations in an FBI affidavit filed in the case last month to be “chilling.”
The two Jacksons are among 29 people, also including suspended state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, and Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, charged in a wide-ranging indictment issued by a federal grand jury on April 1.
Keith Jackson, 49, of San Francisco, a political consultant who served as president of the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education in 1997, was freed on $250,000 bail by a different magistrate on April 3.
Both father and son are accused in the indictment of conspiring to sell more than five kilograms of cocaine; participating in the murder-for-hire plot on Dec. 13, 2013; and two counts of selling guns without a license to the same undercover agent on July 24 and 25, 2013.
A third man, sports agent Marlon Sullivan, 29, of Oakland, is also accused of those counts and will have a detention hearing before Spero on Tuesday.
Keith Jackson is additionally charged with conspiring with Yee to funnel campaign contributions to the legislator in exchange for political favors for donors; six counts of fraudulently doing so; and one count of conspiring with Yee in a proposed international arms deal.
After Keith Jackson was granted bail by U.S. Magistrate Nandor Vadas, prosecutors appealed to U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, the trial judge in the case, but Breyer upheld the release.
During today’s detention hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney William Frentzen told Spero that prosecutors continue to maintain that Keith Jackson should be held in custody.
But he argued that while Keith Jackson was allegedly “a facilitator who introduced people to people,” Brandon Jackson was different because he allegedly “directly had his hands on this stuff.”
Frentzen also noted that Jackson was arrested on drug possession charges in Texas in 2012, but was released into a misdemeanor diversion program.
Defense attorney Tony Tamburello unsuccessfully argued that Brandon Jackson “is a young man who is nothing more than a mule in this case.
“He did something stupid, but nevertheless he did not instigate this, he did not direct it,” Tamburello said.
Outside of court, Tamburello said he may seek a new bail hearing at a later date after receiving prosecution evidence in the case.
Brandon Jackson was arrested in Connecticut on March 26 and has been in custody since then. He was arraigned in federal court in San Francisco on April 15 and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Frentzen has said he expects to obtain a revised indictment with additional charges, possibly including racketeering, by July, but has not said which defendants might be accused of the potential new charges.
Julia Cheever, Bay City News