LOS ANGELES – Five clients and associates of Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano pleaded not guilty Tuesday to federal charges related to sweeping allegations of a conspiracy of wiretapping and digging up dirt on people, including celebrities.
Mark Arneson, a retired Los Angeles police sergeant, was the first to enter his plea. Federal prosecutors allege Arneson used his access to law enforcement databases to search names for "confidential, embarrassing or incriminating" information, receiving at least $189,000 from Pellicano.
Rayford Earl Turner, a retired telephone company employee, also entered a not guilty plea to charges alleging he received at least $36,655 from Pellicano.
In the 110-count indictment, federal prosecutors claim Pellicano, with the help of Turner and Kevin Kachikian, who allegedly provided the wiretapping devices, intercepted phone calls of several people, including prominent real estate developer Robert Maguire and Herbalife founder Mark Hughes.
Also allegedly wiretapped were actors Sylvester Stallone and Keith Carradine.
The others pleading not guilty were Robert Pfeifer, former president of Hollywood Records, and Las Vegas businessman Abner Nicherie. Arraignment for Nicherie's brother, Daniel, was delayed until Friday.
Pellicano pleaded not guilty in an earlier proceeding.