Mark R. Madler
A federal grand jury indicted Glendale resident Scott Schaffer
Thursday on weapons and cocaine charges stemming from an
investigation into a San Fernando Valley street gang.
The four-count indictment charges Schaffer with selling two
handguns to a known felon, possessing a handgun while selling cocaine
and owning 10 firearms at a time when he was regularly using cocaine.
A federal judge on Friday set his bail at $1 million following a
hearing -- an amount his attorney Roger Rosen was not sure he could
come up with.
Schaffer, 51, will plead not guilty to the charges at his
arraignment on Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Rosen
The indictment was overreaching in some areas, Rosen said.
“My understanding of the facts is somewhat different as to some of
the evidence,” Rosen said. “This is a very heavy-handed charging
document but we’ll have to wait and see. [Assistant U.S. Atty. Mark]
Young knows things that I don’t know.”
Following the indictment, Rosen expects to receive from
prosecutors more documents and evidence related to the case, he said.
If Schaffer does make bond, he would have to go to a treatment
facility for his cocaine habit, Magistrate Judge Stephen Hillman
“The implication of the charges if true and of the details of the
criminal complaint if true is that this was motivated by a savage
drug addiction,” Hillman said in setting the bond amount.
Rosen told Hillman that two close friends of Schaffer’s had
$300,000 available to put up for bond and that another friend would
allow Schaffer to live with him while the case was pending.
Schaffer -- appearing in the courtroom in a dress shirt and slacks
-- should not be considered a flight risk because he does not have a
valid passport, Rosen said.
What swayed Hillman to set the hefty bond was the argument by
Young on the seriousness of the charges Schaffer is facing.
The indictment was short on details regarding Schaffer’s actions,
simply stating that in September 2003 he sold a Colt .45 caliber
handgun and a Sig Sauer .45 caliber handgun to a person referred to
While the indictment describes Schaffer as “an unlawful user and
addicted to cocaine” at the time of his arrest, Rosen countered his
client has been in Alcoholics Anonymous for many years and has been
in therapy since late last year.
Local police and federal investigators were led to Schaffer after
a search in June of the Granada Hills home of a Vineland Boyz member
turned up a gun registered to Schaffer that had not been reported
An affidavit filed by David Torres, a Los Angeles Police officer
assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Southern California
Drug Task Force in order to obtain a search warrant for Schaffer’s
Glendale home, spelled out evidence prosecutors obtained from an
informant who was a Vineland Boyz street gang member.
Schaffer met with gang members in a North Hollywood bar where
weapons and drugs were exchanged, Torres said in the affidavit.
At least one Vineland Boyz member was allowed to use Schaffer’s
personal vehicle or the cabs of one of Schaffer’s companies, Valley
Cab Co., to transport drugs or collect drug-related debts, Torres
Also arrested July 13 was Burbank City Councilwoman Stacey Murphy
on suspicion of cocaine possession and child endangerment.
Up until the day of their arrests, Schaffer and Murphy had an
eight-year relationship, Rosen said.
Murphy, 47, is alleged to have had the cocaine in a bedroom and
three handguns and 900 rounds of ammunition in the garage of her Lima
Street home, police said.
Murphy is free on $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in
Burbank Superior Court on Aug. 25.
Attempts to reach Rick Santwier, Murphy’s attorney, were
* MARK MADLER covers Burbank City Hall and the courts. He may be
reached at (818) 637-3242 or by e-mail at mark.madlerlatimes.com.