Other 'Detective To Stars' Arrest In Case Involving Steven Seagal

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES -- A man known as the private detective to the stars was charged with illegally possessing firearms after FBI agents searched his office in connection with an investigation prompted by reports of extortion threats against actor Steven Seagal.

Anthony Pellicano, 59, was jailed without bail, pending an arraignment Wednesday in federal court, FBI spokeswoman Laura Bosley said Friday.

The illegal firearms were two modified grenades that were not properly registered, she said.

Authorities on Thursday searched Pellicano's office after a man arrested for allegedly threatening a Los Angeles Times reporter's life told an FBI informant he had been hired by the private detective, who was acting on behalf of Seagal.

Alexander Proctor, 59, who has pleaded innocent, allegedly vandalized reporter Anita Busch's car and left a threat on it last June.

Busch had been working on a story about an alleged Mafia extortion plot against Seagal when she found a dead fish with a long-stemmed rose in its mouth on the hood of her car.

The car's windshield had also been smashed, and a piece of cardboard with the word "STOP" had been placed on the vehicle.

According to the FBI, Proctor told an informant that Pellicano hired him to carry out the threat.

"He wanted to make it look like the Italians were putting the hit on her so it wouldn't reflect on Seagal," Proctor told the informant, according to a search warrant affidavit filed by an FBI agent assigned to the case.

Pellicano, whose high-profile clients have included Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson, had no role in the threats and had a "legitimate reason" for possessing the grenades, said his lawyer, Donald M. Re.

A lawyer for Seagal said the actor had nothing to do with the threat.

"This uncorroborated allegation by someone arrested is pure fiction and is nothing more than a transparent attempt to divert attention from himself and the real perpetrators," said attorney Martin R. Pollner. "This is part of an unrelenting campaign to disparage Mr. Seagal and reads like a bad screenplay."

Court documents show Proctor told the informant he owed Pellicano about $14,000 and agreed to intimidate Busch for $10,000.

Proctor allegedly told the informant he was supposed to blow up Busch's car as a warning so she would stop reporting on the story about Seagal.

Proctor talked to Pellicano on several occasions but there is no indication he ever met with Seagal, according to court documents.

FBI agents who searched Pellicano's office found the grenades and two handguns, cash, jewelry, and a plastic explosive with detonation cord and blasting cap, according to the affidavit.

"The explosive could easily be used to blow up a car, and was in fact strong enough to bring down an airplane," FBI agent Stanley Ornellas said in court documents.

The Times published several stories earlier this year about the arrest of Seagal's former business partner, Julius Nasso, for his alleged role in a multimillion-dollar extortion scheme against the actor.

Federal prosecutors in New York said they had a tape of Nasso and a Gambino crime family member plotting the shakedown.

Taken from: