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Reward Offered for Desert Hot Springs Man Who Escaped from Custody and Faces Charges Related to Pipe Bombs Found in Coachella Valley

FBI Los Angeles October 23, 2013
  • Public Affairs Specialist Laura Eimiller (310) 996-3343

RIVERSIDE, CA—A reward of $10,000 is being offered by the FBI in exchange for information leading to the capture of a man indicted on federal charges of illegally possessing pipe bombs left in residential neighborhoods in the Palm Springs in 2012.

Edward Allen Costa, 48, was indicted on September 11, 2013, on six counts of possessing unregistered destructive devices (pipe bombs) and one count of escape from custody. Costa, who pleaded guilty last year to being a felon in possession of a firearm, allegedly walked away from a halfway house in Rubidoux in August 2013.

The indictment alleges that Costa illegally possessed six pipes bombs that were left in various locations in Palm Springs from May 8 through May 12 last year. Costa was initially charged in relation to the pipe bombs in a criminal complaint filed in June 2012, but those charges were dismissed to allow additional investigation. When that complaint was dismissed, Costa was charged in another case of being a convicted felon in possession of a .357-magnum revolver, as well as 106 rounds of ammunition.

Costa pleaded guilty late last year to the felon-in-possession charge, and he was sentenced in January by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips to one year and one day in federal prison. By August, the Bureau of Prisons had assigned Costa to a residential re-entry center in Rubidoux. According to court documents, Costa signed out of the facility in order to go to a state-run employment office, but he never returned. Costa was initially charged with escape in a criminal complaint filed in federal court on August 16.

Special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives had continued to investigate the case involving the pipe bombs. That investigation concluded in September when a federal grand jury in Riverside returned the seven-count indictment against Costa.

The charge of possession of an unregistered destructed device carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The escape charge carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Costa, pictured below, is currently a fugitive being sought by federal authorities. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is encouraged to contact the FBI at this 24-hour number: 888-CANT HIDE (888-226-8443).

The case against Costa was investigated by the FBI and the ATF, which received substantial assistance from the Palm Springs Police Department and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Also, the United States Marshals Service has provided substantial assistance in the effort to locate and arrest Costa.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

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