10-Year Sentence for Threat Suspect
An ex-convict accused of making a criminal threat against a Los Angeles Times reporter was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Monday in an unrelated drug-trafficking case.
Alexander Proctor, 60, pleaded guilty in September to transporting two kilograms of cut heroin from Los Angeles to Atlanta in a secret compartment of his car.
Proctor was initially arrested by FBI agents in connection with a threat made against Los Angeles Times reporter Anita Busch. That case is pending in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Busch, who was researching a story about the relationship between actor Steven Seagal and a reputed Mafia associate, woke up one morning in June 2002 to find that her car windshield had been punctured. Left on the car were a dead fish with a rose in its mouth and a cardboard sign with one word: “Stop”
According to court documents, Proctor implicated himself in the threat against Busch during surreptitiously recorded conversations with an FBI informant. He allegedly told the informant that he’d been hired by celebrity private investigator Anthony Pellicano to firebomb Busch’s car to get her to back off her story about Seagal, but that, instead, he settled on leaving the fish, the rose and the warning note.
Pellicano and Seagal have not been charged in the threat case and each has denied involvement. Pellicano is awaiting sentencing for illegally possessing two military-style hand grenades and a quantity of C4 plastic explosives. The contraband was discovered when FBI agents searched his offices for evidence linking him to Proctor.
Proctor, who was arrested in October 2002, was subsequently indicted on charges of possessing heroin and methamphetamines for sale and conspiring to import cocaine from Mexico and to manufacture and distribute wholesale quantities of the drug Ecstasy. He pleaded guilty to the heroin possession charge after the government agreed to drop the other counts.
Appearing Monday before U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner, Proctor declined to address the court, an opportunity that is routinely accorded criminal defendants at the time of sentencing.
In sentencing Proctor to a 10-year prison term, Klausner followed the recommendations spelled out in the plea agreement and rejected a request for an additional one to four years advanced by the federal probation office.
Proctor, who now has three drug-trafficking convictions on his record, still faces prosecution by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office in connection with the threat against Busch, who attended Monday’s sentencing.
If convicted of making a criminal threat, Proctor could face another three years behind bars.
The stories shaping California
Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.