PI gets 3 years for threatening writer
Former Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano and another man were sentenced to three years in prison Friday after pleading no contest to charges that they threatened a Los Angeles Times reporter in 2002.
Pellicano, 65, and Alexander Proctor, 66, were charged with threatening reporter Anita Busch, who was doing investigative research on Hollywood industry figures. Busch found a dead fish with a rose in its mouth on her car’s shattered windshield along with a sign reading “Stop,” according to prosecutors.
Proctor allegedly told an FBI informant that Pellicano had hired him to intimidate Busch.
Authorities then searched Pellicano’s office and found information on Busch’s physical description, home address and license plate number.
They also found evidence suggesting Pellicano was operating an illegal wiretapping enterprise.
Pellicano was eventually convicted on wiretapping and racketeering charges and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Proctor is also serving a 10-year sentence on an unrelated drug conviction.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, neither man will serve any additional time behind bars because their sentences are to run concurrent with their existing prison sentences.
Busch, who is no longer with The Times, said she was relieved to hear about the news Friday.
“It was an act of domestic terrorism,” Busch said. “I’m glad to know that they can’t threaten a journalist in this country and get away with it.”
Deputy Dist. Atty. Ronald Goudy called the sentencing a “just result.”
Pellicano will be returned to a federal prison in Arizona and Proctor, who represented himself, is set to go to a federal prison in Georgia.
Michael Artan, Pellicano’s attorney, said his client has a painful eye condition, and hoped Friday’s plea would gain him a quick return to federal custody, where he received better healthcare.
Artan said Pellicano’s eye condition has been growing worse, and is affecting his mood: “It’s really made a tremendous impact on every aspect of his activity, his outlook, his being, everything.”
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.