Anthony Pellicano weapons charges


December 26, 2002, 03:08 AM
Pellicano was indicted earlier this month for tax violations based on possession of two grenades, and for a misdemeanor based on about 150g of c-4. WashPost also claims two handguns found in Pellicano's office weren't registered with the CA DoJ.


I, STANLEY E. ORNELLAS, being duly sworn, declare and state:

1. I am a Special Agent (SA) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and have been so employed for more than 26 years. For the past nine years, I have been assigned to investigate organized crime matters within the Los Angeles Division of the FBI.

2. This affidavit is made in support of a complaint against ANTHONY PELLICANO for violations of Title 26, United States Code, Section 5861(d), which prohibits the possession of an unregistered firearm (including a destructive device).

3. On November 19, 2002, I swore to an affidavit and obtained a search warrant from Chief Magistrate Judge Robert Block authorizing a search of PELLICANO's business, Pellicano Investigative Agency, Ltd., located at 9200 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 322, Los Angeles, California (the "subject premises"). The warrant authorized agents to search for and seize evidence of violations of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 (conspiracy) and 1951 (interference with commerce by threats of violence). The affidavit in support of that warrant, which is filed under seal, details evidence establishing probable cause to believe that PELLICANO hired and paid Alexander Proctor (currently charged in United States v. Proctor, No. CR 02-1074-GAF) to burn the car of a Los Angeles Times reporter who was writing a negative newspaper article about one of Pellicano's celebrity clients.

4. On November 21, 2002, I spoke with FBI SA David Freihon, who told me the following:
a. On November 21, 2002, SA Freihon and a team of FBI agents executed the federal search warrant at PELLICANO's offices.
b. Upon entering the subject premises, SA Freihon asked PELLICANO whether there were any weapons on the premises. PELLICANO stated that there were two handguns in the desk drawer in his office. SA Freihon located those handguns, which were loaded, and unloaded them. PELLICANO did not identify any other weapons.
c. Two metal combination safes were found in the rear of the subject premises. PELLICANO told SA Freihon that he was the only one with the combinations to the safes. At SA Freihon's request, PELLICANO opened the safes.
d. In one of the safes, SA Freihon observed two black plastic Pelican cases adjacent to each other. One case contained a quantity of what appeared to him to be plastic explosive, wrapped in plastic wrap, along with a detonation cord and blasting cap. The second case contained what appeared to him to be two military anti-personnel grenades. SA Freihon also observed in the same safe approximately 15-20 bundles of cash, the majority of which bore $10,000 wrappers, as well as a number of pieces of jewelry in assorted boxes and pouches. SA Freihon photographed the contents of the safe.
e. PELLICANO removed the cash and jewelry from the safe and left the subject premises with them.
f. SA Freihon contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LACSD) Bomb Squad to examine the plastic explosive and grenades.
g. PELLICANO told SA Freihon that the items in the safe were from an old case of his and that he had forgotten they were there.
5. On November 21, 2002, I spoke with LACSD Deputy Mike Cofield, who is assigned to the Bomb Squad that responded to the subject premises. He told me the following:
a. He has been a certified bomb technician with the Bomb Squad for seven years and has specialized training in military, commercial, and improvised explosive devices.
b. Upon arriving at the subject premises, he examined a Pelican case from the safe that appeared to him, based on sight and smell, to contain military C-4 plastic explosive, which is United States government property and is not commercially available. The blasting cap was lying adjacent to the plastic explosive, in a position that could cause sympathetic detonation. There appeared to be a piece of detonation cord attached to the blasting cap.
c. He examined two grenades from the other Pelican case in the safe that appeared to be Mark 26 practice grenades. The grenades were packed in foam rubber inside a Pelican case. X-rays revealed that the grenades each contained a live spoon assembly with a striker and a live blasting cap, and that the striker in each grenade was in the armed position. The bodies of the grenades had been modified to seal a hole in the bottom of the bodies, which suggests that an explosive filler may have been inserted into the grenades.
d. The LACSD Bomb Squad planned to remove the plastic explosive and the grenades to a secure location, where they would remotely open the grenades to render them safe and examine the fillers. They would also do a test burn on the plastic explosive and subject it to a bomb-sniffing dog. These tests would yield more information as to the precise composition of the plastic explosive and the nature of any filler in the Grenades.
6. On November 22, 2002, I spoke with Deputy Greg Everett, a certified bomb technician with the LACSD Bomb Squad, who told me the following:
a. On November 21, 2002, at a testing facility in Wayside, California, he conducted further tests and examination of the items found in PELLICANO's safe.
b. The suspected plastic explosive was identified as an explosive by a bomb-sniffing dog, and a test-burn yielded results consistent with C-4 explosive. All observable properties of the explosive were consistent with military C-4.
7. On November 22, 2002, I spoke with FBI SA David Baker, a certified bomb technician for three-and-a-half years, who told me the following:
a. On November 22, 2002, he inspected the plastic explosive assembly and grenades at Wayside, California. It is his opinion that the explosive is C-4 explosive. The modified grenades each constitute a "destructive device" within the meaning of 26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(8).
b. The explosive, in a quantity of approximately 1/4 to 1/3-pound, appeared to be significantly fresher than the C-4 that he generally encounters.
c. The explosive was part of a complete assembly, with detonation cord and blasting cap. The blasting cap was a live, electrically-initiated blasting cap that is sensitive to heat or static electricity. The attached cord was cut open and contained a white powder consistent with detonation cord.
d. The two grenades were Mark 26 practice grenades containing brand-new live spoon assemblies with live blasting caps. The grenades had been modified by being filled to capacity with photoflash powder, one of the fastest gunpowders available. Photoflash powder is extremely sensitive to heat, shock, and friction, which means that the grenades could explode if dropped.
e. The grenades were "baseball-shaped pipe bombs" that were designed to fragment and to send shrapnel within the blast radius upon detonation. They were non-lethal devices that had been altered for the specific purpose of rendering them lethal.
f. The explosives were designed so that initiating the blasting cap with an electrical charge (or heat or static electricity) would initiate the detonation cord, which would detonate the cord, which was touching the plastic explosive. The detonation of the cord would initiate a shock wave that would transfer to and set off the plastic explosive, which in turn would have blown the grenades in close proximity (even as stored in the Pelican case). The resulting explosion, overpressurization of air and lungs, and secondary fragmentation would kill anyone in PELLICANO's offices and would rip through the drywall into the public corridor (to which the safe was adjacent) and nearby offices, where other catastrophic injury or death could easily result. The explosive could easily be used to blow up a car, and was in fact strong enough to bring down an airplane.
g. The grenades cannot be lawfully registered because they are modified.
h. He spoke with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) SA Brian Hart, a certified bomb technician for 12 years, who also examined the explosive and grenades at Wayside, California. SA Hart concurs that the grenades constitute "destructive devices" within the meaning of 26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(8), and further concurs with the conclusions of SA Hart regarding the composition and probable effect of the destructive devices and explosive as set forth above.
8. On November 22, 2002, I spoke with ATF Darek Pleasants, who told me that on that date, he had contacted the National Firearms Act branch of ATF and requested a search of the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record to determine if any destructive devices are registered to PELLICANO. The search revealed that no destructive devices are registered to PELLICANO.

9. Based on the above information, my training and experience, and my knowledge of the facts and circumstances of this case, I believe there is probable cause to believe that ANTHONY PELLICANO is in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 5861(d).

Stanley E. Ornellas
Special Agent
Federal Bureau of Investigation



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December 26, 2002, 03:23 AM
If it was some unknown guy, I'd say he was screwed, but this guy probably has connections. I don't think anything will come of it.

December 26, 2002, 04:47 AM
Keep in mind that it is the Governments burden to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the grenades were not registered.

They have had some problems in the past with the NFA registry, and they do not like to try NFA violation he pleas....

December 26, 2002, 09:39 AM
Don't forget the quote that "The grenades cannot be lawfully registered because they are modified". In this age of heightened awareness of potential terrorism, Pellicano's modified grenades - that are/were "strong enough to bring down an airplane", according to the agent's statement - are all too much like weapons/instruments of terror. If they can prove that the explosives involved were C4 (or something similar) and flash powder, and if they blow the grenades and PE on a practice range and film the resulting explosion, he's toast. If I were them and really wanted to nail the guy, I'd put a few plastic window-dressing dummies within lethal range of the explosion, and film them "before and after" to show how damaging the grenade fragments and blast would have been to "real" people. Film like this tends to have a pretty powerful impact on juries...

BTW, concerning the allegation that "PELLICANO hired and paid Alexander Proctor ... to burn the car of a Los Angeles Times reporter who was writing a negative newspaper article about one of Pellicano's celebrity clients": the finding of these articles makes that allegation much more believable, IMHO... Isn't Pellicano alleged to be one of the private eyes used by ex-President Clinton to "pressure" people into not filing complaints/making statements/writing articles about him? And didn't his name come up as someone allegedly used by the Scientology people to investigate their opponents and put pressure on them? I don't know for sure about these last two, but I think I recall reading bits and pieces suggesting this. Anyone with more information out there?

December 26, 2002, 10:49 AM
Preacherman, I looked and found some evidence of dealings btween the Co$ and Pellicano.
Then, Anthony Pellicano, famed private investigator to the stars, without being named as the witness in question, issues a statement and denies he was the one who saw the murders. Pellicano occasionally works for Michael Jackson and one time performed
Cruises legal representative engaged Anthony Pellicano according to New York post office already, admitted to one for its Skrupellosigkeit private detective, Article about Tom Cruise divorce (

WiseNut results (

I don't know if that is of any use, but his tactics and theirs do seem to go well together.

December 26, 2002, 11:18 AM
I think this guy is a goner, with a bit of Federal time in his future...He is one arroant SOB I can tell you that.


December 26, 2002, 01:40 PM
What a maroon!

Bye Tony, enjoy your goverment paid vacation.

April 18, 2003, 08:04 PM
Judge admits evidence in Pellicano case

September 22, 2003, 03:41 AM
Pellicano now seems to want to plead guilty to possession of c-4 (unregistered, hopefully) in exchange for having the other two counts (unsafe storage of c-4 and possession of unregistered grenades) dropped. But the DoJ prosecutor doesn't want to accept the plea. The trial's set for October 7th in LA federal district court.

October 10, 2003, 06:46 AM
Before sentencing in the expected 3-day trial, he pleads guilty to two counts, facing a maximum of 33 months.

November 11, 2003, 11:10 AM
From the New York Times (

Talk of Wiretaps Rattles Hollywood

Published: November 11, 2003

This article was reported by Lowell Bergman, Laura M. Holson and Bernard Weinraub and written by Mr. Weinraub.

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 10 - The case began with a dead fish and a rose in an aluminum pan, left on the hood of a car parked on a Los Angeles street. Taped to the windshield of the car, which belonged to a reporter for The Los Angeles Times, was a piece of cardboard with a single word: "Stop."

The discovery in June 2002 - for which an ex-convict was later arrested - unleashed a chain of events that has suddenly entwined many of the Hollywood elite and threatens to turn into the kind of scandal that the show business world has not faced in decades. Managers, actors, businessmen and lawyers are being questioned, and in some cases subpoenaed, by the federal government in a widening grand jury investigation of suspected illegal wiretapping that has moved beyond Los Angeles to New York, according to entertainers, producers, lawyers and others involved in the inquiry.

At issue are the contents of what federal investigators have told potential witnesses are wiretap transcripts found on the computer of Anthony Pellicano, a private investigator who has worked for some of Hollywood's top celebrities, including Michael Jackson, Kevin Costner, Sylvester Stallone and Roseanne Barr. The transcripts were among a huge trove of computer files discovered last year in an F.B.I. raid of Mr. Pellicano's Sunset Boulevard office in connection with the threat against the reporter, Anita M. Busch. The grand jury investigation is now seeking to unravel the details of the wiretapping, and whether prominent lawyers or their clients had hired Mr. Pellicano to do it.

It remains unclear how much information the government has about Mr. Pellicano's actions, and whether the lawyers and clients who retained the private investigator knew of any wiretapping. Still, at virtually every movie premiere, in studio commissaries, over lunch at the Grill and at other show business hangouts, the investigation, and who is being called before the grand jury, have become the major topic of discussion.

Among those who have been called by the F.B.I. was the comedian Garry Shandling, who said in an interview on Friday that an F.B.I. agent had informed him that he had been wiretapped. Word of the investigation had been percolating through Hollywood for some time.

But the vague speculation turned specific last week after a prominent Hollywood lawyer, Bert Fields, told the entertainment trade journal Variety that he had been questioned by the F.B.I. It was the first time anyone who had spoken to the F.B.I. as part of the investigation had identified himself. Over the years, Mr. Fields's client list has included Tom Cruise, John Travolta, David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Jackson. Mr. Fields and his law firm have long used Mr. Pellicano as a private investigator.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Fields said there was "no question" that the F.B.I. was seeking information about Mr. Pellicano.

"That's what they were questioning me about," said Mr. Fields, who has hired a criminal defense lawyer, John W. Keker. Mr. Fields denied any knowledge of wiretapping. "I do not do that, nor did I authorize Anthony Pellicano to do any wiretapping, ever," he said.

Under federal law, a defendant found guilty of wiretapping could could face a sentence of up to five years in prison.

Mr. Pellicano's lawyer, Donald Re, declined to comment.

According to people who have been questioned by the F.B.I., the evidence gathered in Mr. Pellicano's office led the F.B.I. to look into the possible use of illegal wiretaps in several cases, including the legal and personal battle in 1999 between Mr. Shandling and his former manager, Brad Grey. Mr. Fields represented Mr. Grey in the bitter financial dispute, which was settled before the trial began.

Mr. Grey, who is one of the producers of "The Sopranos," is a talent manager whose company, Brillstein-Grey, represents stars like Brad Pitt and Adam Sandler.

In an interview, Mr. Shandling said the F.B.I. had asked him "questions about wiretapping."

"The F.B.I. was interested in my lawsuit in regards to Brad Grey, and the circumstances of the press campaign mounted against me," Mr. Shandling said. He added that he had been informed that "my name and other people who were deposed in my lawsuit, their names were run through a computer at the L.A.P.D." He would not elaborate, but he was apparently referring to Sgt. Mark Arneson of the robbery-homicide division of the Los Angeles Police Department, who was suspended in June after being accused of tapping into police databases on Mr. Pellicano's behalf.

An F.B.I. spokesman in Los Angeles said that the agency "was not at liberty to discuss the investigation."

When asked about the possible use of wiretaps in the Shandling case, Mr. Grey said: "I can't imagine Bert Fields would be involved or get his clients involved in anything like this. I never heard anything about any wiretapping, and that's what I shared with investigators when they asked."

What set off the investigation was the threat against Ms. Busch, an entertainment reporter for The Los Angeles Times who has also written for The New York Times. Ms. Busch had told the authorities that she thought the incident was related to her research for an article about the actor Steven Seagal and his relationship with a suspected Mafia associate.

According to court documents, Alexander Proctor implicated himself in the threat against Ms. Busch during a tape-recorded conversation with an F.B.I. informant. Mr. Proctor told the informant that he had been offered $10,000 by Mr. Pellicano to set Ms. Busch's car on fire but, uncomfortable with that, he bought the fish and a rose to warn her off the story.

The authorities obtained a warrant to search Mr. Pellicano's office for evidence linking him to Mr. Proctor. Federal agents said that during the search, two unregistered hand grenades and some plastic explosives were found.

The search also turned up the computer files that have become the focus of the federal investigation. Mr. Pellicano pleaded guilty last month to charges of possessing explosives, and although formal sentencing is not until January, he is expected to enter prison next Monday. Mr. Pellicano and Mr. Seagal have denied involvement in the Busch case, and neither has been charged with trying to threaten the reporter.

It is not only entertainment lawyers who have been questioned in the investigation, but also divorce lawyers and criminal lawyers in both Los Angeles and New York who employed Mr. Pellicano, according to two lawyers with knowledge of the inquiry.

Norman Levine, a managing partner at Mr. Fields's law firm - Greenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman & Machtinger - said Mr. Fields received a subpoena to testify before the grand jury but was later told not to appear. He has not received any formal notice that he is under investigation, Mr. Levine said.

Mr. Fields and Mr. Pellicano had been friendly for many years, but Mr. Levine and others say their relationship seemed more professional than personal. "I never heard that Bert and Anthony Pellicano have been to dinner or ballgames," said Mr. Levine, who works closely with Mr. Fields.

Even so, on Nov. 25, 2002, Mr. Fields wrote a letter on Mr. Pellicano's behalf requesting bail after Mr. Pellicano was charged with illegal possession of the explosives. The letter was one of three written to the judge in the case by partners at Greenburg, Glusker, all of whom praised Mr. Pellicano. "My firm has hired Mr. Pellicano as an investigator for dozens of cases, many of which I have personally handled," Mr. Fields wrote in a letter to Judge Fernando Olguin of Federal District Court in Los Angeles. "I cannot imagine that he represents the slightest 'danger to the community' should he be released on bail," Mr. Fields wrote.

The relationship between Mr. Pellicano and Mr. Fields was discussed in a 1993 Vanity Fair article about Michael Jackson, a client of Mr. Pellicano's. The author of the piece, Maureen Orth, wrote that Mr. Pellicano had told her: "Bert gives me an absolute free hand when I'm involved."

When Mr. Levine of Greenberg, Glusker was asked if Mr. Pellicano had indeed been given a free hand to investigate as he pleased, he said, "Anthony Pellicano never had a free hand to do anything illegal."

According to government trademark records, the law firm in 1995 helped Mr. Pellicano seek a trademark for computer hardware and software "which will be used for the monitoring and/or recording and subsequent playback of telecommunications." The project was abandoned four years later. Mr. Levine said he and Mr. Fields had no knowledge of this until it was brought to their attention by a reporter. A lawyer at the firm, Jill A. Cossman, is listed in public records as having handled the trademark request.

Mr. Pellicano came to Hollywood under strange circumstances. In 1977, he found the body of Elizabeth Taylor's third husband, Mike Todd, which had been stolen from a Chicago cemetery. In front of a television camera crew, Mr. Pellicano walked about 75 yards from the excavated grave, reached under some leaves and revealed a plastic bag containing Mr. Todd's remains. Mr. Pellicano's rivals claimed he had staged the episode for publicity.

But the episode endeared Mr. Pellicano to Ms. Taylor, who introduced him to her Hollywood friends. The criminal lawyer Howard Weitzman hired him in 1983 to help in the defense of John DeLorean, who was accused of cocaine trafficking. From then on he was a high-profile investigator.

Mr. Pellicano has been a controversial figure in Hollywood. At the start of the 1999 hearings in Jeffrey Katzenberg's lawsuit against his former employer, the Walt Disney Company, for breach of contract, Mr. Pellicano was hired by Mr. Fields, who was Mr. Katzenberg's lawyer, to provide security, according to an associate of Mr. Katzenberg. But Mr. Katzenberg, walking into the first session, saw Mr. Pellicano and said to an associate, "I don't want him here."

A new security team was hired soon after.

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