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Pellicano Defendants Close to Flipping?

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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PLENTY TO GO AROUND, LADIES Pellicano (Photo: Getty Images) The 107-count trial of PI-to-the-stars and accused illegal wire tapper Anthony Pellicano has been delayed one week to give two defendants the opportunity to work out a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney. The trial was to have begun Wednesday.

"Retired Police Sergeant Mark Arneson and former telephone company employee Ray Turner are in negotiations to plead guilty," a lawyer in the case tells "The major obstacle is to get the feds to let them plead to charges that do not include the RICO statutes." The lawyer went on to explain that under federal sentencing guidelines a RICO conviction jacks up the mandatory prison time dramatically.

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Arneson was charged with illegally furnishing Pellicano with people's personal and private information through the use of his police computers, and Turner is accused of helping set up the illegal wiretaps. If both do plead guilty and agree to testify, it would light up the trial. Additionally, Pellicano and the remaining defendants would face a much more difficult case to prove their innocence.



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