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Schaffer indicted on four counts

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

as “J.Y.”

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