Former private investigator Anthony Pellicano will be arraigned Monday on unspecified federal charges stemming from a three-year FBI investigation into his alleged use of wiretaps and other illegal tactics, authorities confirmed Friday.
The 61-year-old Pellicano was in federal custody at the San Bernardino County Jail on Friday after being transferred by federal marshals from the Taft Correctional Institute in Bakersfield. Pellicano’s move to the jail came one day before he was scheduled to have finished a 30-month sentence on federal charges of storing explosives in his West Hollywood office.
A spokesman for the U.S. marshal’s office said Pellicano arrived at the jail in anticipation of his Monday appearance in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. He declined to say why Pellicano was taken to San Bernardino, which contracts to house federal prisoners. The spokesman declined to elaborate.
Although the charges against Pellicano are under seal, they are known to have arisen from a long-running grand jury probe into his work as one of Los Angeles’ best-known -- and most controversial -- private eyes.
Though the scope of the investigation has been kept under wraps by the FBI and U.S. attorney’s office, sources close to the probe say that at least two of Pellicano’s associates are expected to be indicted, and that charges will include illegal accessing of confidential law enforcement records as well as wiretapping.
The associates are former Los Angeles Police Sgt. Mark Arneson and Ray Turner, a former Pacific Bell employee. Lawyers for the two declined to comment.
Sources versed in the wide-ranging investigation added that a handful of other Pellicano associates or clients also could be named in the grand jury indictment to be unsealed Monday.
The indictment, they said, represents only the first wave of charges that will arise from the case, which has riveted many in Hollywood and the legal community because of Pellicano’s long list of prominent attorney and celebrity clients.
The case is an outgrowth of a bizarre threat made against a former Los Angeles Times reporter, Anita Busch, in 2002. Busch walked out to her car one morning and discovered a dead fish, a rose and a sign that read “Stop” on the hood.
An informant led investigators to an ex-convict named Alexander Proctor, who, during a secretly recorded conversation, claimed that Pellicano had paid him to carry out the threat.
The FBI subsequently raided Pellicano’s Sunset Boulevard offices and allegedly recovered computerized records and other evidence that the detective had illegally wiretapped people on behalf of clients.
Three weeks ago, Pellicano’s former girlfriend, Sandra Will Carradine, and a former Beverly Hills police officer, Craig Stevens, pleaded guilty to federal charges of lying about the detective’s use of wiretaps and other illegal tactics. Both are scheduled for sentencing in the fall.
Pellicano also faces state charges in connection with the 2002 threat against the reporter.