Following a federal grand jury indictment last week, State Sen. Leland Yee and his political consultant Keith Jackson plead not guilty in federal court Tuesday morning after being charged with firearms trafficking and honest services fraud.
Yee said nothing entering the San Francisco building - his third court appearance there. In court, he plead not guilty to one count of conspiracy to traffic in firearms without a license and illegally import firearms; one count of conspiring to defraud citizens of honest services; and six counts of engaging in a scheme to defraud citizens of honest services.
Also, Yee and his wife, Maxine, signed over their San Francisco home as collateral for the bond. The Yees and their attorney Jim Lassart declined to comment outside court.
Jackson, trailed by an entourage of lawyers, also declined comment. Inside court, Jackson pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder-for-hire, corruption, conspiracy and firearms trafficking charges. Jackson is accused of having connections to a Chinatown organization that the FBI says was a front for a notorious crime syndicate. Authorities say Jackson served as a middleman between Yee and the syndicate and helped funnel cash to the politician in exchange for political influence. Jackson is free on $250,000 bond.
Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow's court appearance was delayed. He remains behind bars on charges including money laundering, unlicensed firearms dealing and conspiracy to traffic contraband cigarettes.
Outside court, Chow's high-profile attorney, Torry Serra, said the "government created the crime" and said the case reeks of "entrapment and racism" in regards to the FBI arrest. Chow definitely has his supporters. Someone even created "Free Shrimp Boy" T-shirts.
Free Shrimp Boy! This is from a press release by his attorney. They say he was the victim of entrapment, racism. pic.twitter.com/qDVc4LzATi
— Christie Smith (@christies_nbc) April 8, 2014
All three are expected to appear again in court on Friday before U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer.
The indictment follows the March 26 arrests during an elaborate FBI raid authorized by a federal criminal complaint. A total of 27 people were indicted.
NBC Bay Area's Riya Bhattacharjee and The Associated Press contributed to this report.