Court Won’t Void Conviction in Case of Threats to ‘LAT’ Reporter

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(AP) A federal appeals panel refused Thursday to overturn the conviction of celebrity private eye Anthony Pellicano on weapons charges.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a 2002 warrant to search his office did not violate Pellicano’s rights because authorities had probable cause, and the FBI agents who carried out the search did not act unreasonably.

Defense attorney Donald Re, who contended the search warrant was overly broad, said he will appeal Thursday’s decision.

Pellicano was suspected in 2002 of hiring a man to threaten a Los Angeles Times reporter who was working on a story about possible links between actor Steven Seagal and the Mafia.

Although Pellicano was never charged with making threats, he pleaded guilty to illegally possessing firearms and explosives found in his office and was sentenced in January 2004 to 2 1/2 years in federal prison.

Pellicano has provided detective work, security, and sometimes acted as a spokesman for such celebrities as Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson, and Sylvester Stallone.

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