Keith Jackson, a consultant to suspended state Sen. Leland Yee who is accused of corruption and conspiring with him to pull off an international weapons deal, was released from jail Thursday evening.
Jackson and Yee were arrested March 26 as part of a massive FBI sweep of more than two dozen people accused of running guns, selling drugs and arranging murder-for-hire. Yee has been free on a $500,000 unsecured bond while Jackson has been in custody since his arrest.
A federal magistrate judge ruled today that Jackson "is not a threat to the community," according to a prepared statement from his lawyer, James Brosnahan of the Morrison & Foerster law firm in San Francisco.
"Jackson has no criminal record and no history of violence," the statement says.
A 137-page criminal complaint alleges that Jackson helped arrange a murder-for-hire, conspired to sell narcotics and sold several guns to undercover FBI agents. It also accuses him of scheming with Yee on several counts of corruption by taking money from undercover agents seeking political favors from Yee.
At a court appearance earlier in the day, federal prosecutor William Frentzen argued that Jackson should remain behind bars until his trial because of the seriousness of the charges against him, the Associated Press reported.
Brosnahan countered that his client is innocent, has no criminal record and has deep ties to San Francisco, the AP wrote.
Jackson and Yee served on the San Francisco school board together in the 1990s.
Federal authorities allege that Jackson was a consultant to a Chinatown group called the Chee Kung Tong, which is led by a one-time gangster known as Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow and was being infiltrated by the FBI during its five-year investigation.
Editor's note: This post was updated at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, April 3 to reflect Jackson's release from custody.
PHOTO: In this file photo taken March 16, 2011, Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, second from right, poses with several inducted consultants, including Keith Jackson, left, a former San Francisco school board member, at the Chee Kung Tong spring banquet in San Francisco. Associated Press/Sing Tao Daily