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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Leland Yee: Marlon Sullivan, Manager of Boxer Karim Mayfield, Charged in Vast Web Surrounding State Senator

Posted By on Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Marlon Sullivan, far left, in much happier times
  • Marlon Sullivan, far left, in much happier times

It's not every day a sitting state senator is led off in handcuffs in the shadow of the Capitol rotunda. Sen. Leland Yee's arrest this morning following a coordinated series of federal raids is, rightfully, the day's story for this and many foreseeable days. 

The longtime San Francisco politico is accused of wire fraud and participating in a scheme to deal firearms, and is one of 26 defendants facing a bevy of federal charges. Yee purportedly orchestrated the firearms ploy alongside political consultant Keith Jackson, a onetime representative of developer Lennar and former consultant with crisis manager Sam Singer

Jackson may need the services of his erstwhile colleague (Singer, for what it's worth, calls Jackson "a nice guy" -- but says he hasn't worked with him for around seven years). In addition to the alleged gun-running, Jackson is also accused of drug-trafficking and participating in a murder-for-hire plot. 

That alleged murder conspiracy also involved Jackson's son, Brandon, and Brandon's associate, Marlon Sullivan. 

Sullivan, 29, is a sports agent, and the manger of San Francisco's champion light welterweight boxer Karim "Hard Hitta" Mayfield. The boxer, who'll fight in an Atlantic City title bout airing on HBO on Saturday, was shocked to learn of his manager's plight.  

"Oh, what the hell?" Mayfield said. "He was supposed to be meeting me out here today." 

Sullivan is accused of involvement in a murder-for-hire conspiracy; gun trafficking; a drug-trafficking conspiracy; and the sale of fraudulent credit cards. 

The affidavit hashing out the charges against Yee, both Jacksons, Sullivan, and 22 others weaves a convoluted story involving money, drugs, firearms, and murder. 

Sullivan and Brandon Jackson are accused of aiding the elder Jackson in a plan to transport "a large amount of weapons" to marijuana-tending associates of  Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, a onetime Chinatown gangster who is now president of the Supreme Lodge of Chinese Freemasons of the World in San Francisco. The trio is accused of selling "various types of firearms" and "two ballistic vests" to an undercover agent. 

Both Jacksons and Sullivan purportedly agreed to carry out a murder-for-hire plot at the behest of the agent and participate in a cocaine purchase from the agent's so-called "drug connection on the East Coast." The agent also claims Sullivan provided him with "multiple fraudulent credit cards." 

Keith Jackson, a longtime associate of and fund-raiser for Yee, apparently introduced the state senator to undercover agents, who were hit up for campaign donations. On multiple occasions, Yee purportedly agreed to "perform certain official acts" and introduce donors to his influential colleagues in exchange for four- and five-figure contributions. 

In exchange for a campaign contribution to Yee from an undercover agent, Jackson purportedly arranged for the state senator to broker a meeting between the donor and a "contact of Yee's who deals in arms trafficking."  

Mayfield's publicist, Mario Serrano, was as floored as the boxer when told of Sullivan's situation "Oh wow, man. Wow. I'd been trying to call him all day and it just went to voicemail."

SF Weekly's call to Sullivan also went to voicemail.

Update, 4:30 p.m.: SF Weekly's Rachel Swan said Sullivan was not among the 20 defendants appearing at the courthouse today. It is possible he made it to Atlantic City after all. 

Update, 4:50 p.m.: Mayfield says that, while he and Sullivan had a handshake agreement, Sullivan isn't officially his manager. The two had been planning to sign a contract this week, but it appears that won't come to pass. 

Mayfield said that Sullivan is "innocent until proven guilty, but I'm appalled at these charges." 

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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