Numerous Charges Dropped Against Pellicano in Hollywood Wiretap Case

A total of 28 charges were dropped at the prosecution's request Thursday in the Hollywood wiretaps case against private investigator Anthony Pellicano and a co-defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Saunders said the government made the request because some of the alleged victims weren't available to testify and other counts were redundant.

More than 35 charges remain against Pellicano and former Los Angeles police Sgt. Mark Arneson. They and three other codefendants have pleaded not guilty.

Pellicano is accused of running a criminal enterprise that used wiretaps and other clandestine tactics to dig up dirt to help his clients gain an advantage in legal and other disputes.

The dropped counts mostly involved wire fraud that authorities had alleged involved Arneson searching law enforcement databases for Pellicano.

U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer dropped the counts shortly before prosecutors rested their case.

Pellicano, who is representing himself, is to begin his defense Friday.

Among high-profile Hollywood figures called during the prosecution's case were Chris Rock, Garry Shandling, Keith Carradine, Paramount studio head Brad Grey and Michael Ovitz, the former superagent and Disney executive.