A man indicted on charges of possessing pipe bombs found in Palm Springs neighborhoods last year was at large Thursday and federal authorities sought help from the public to find him.
Edward Allen Costa, 48, was indicted Sept. 11 on six counts of
possessing unregistered destructive devices and one count
of escape from custody, Thom Mrozek of U.S. Attorney's Office in L.A. said in a statement distributed Thursday.
Costa pleaded guilty in 2012 to being a felon in possession of a firearm, and in August this year he allegedly walked away
from a halfway house in Rubidoux, Mrozek said.
"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," Mrozek said. "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
Costa was then charged in
another case of being a convicted felon in possession of a .357-magnum
revolver and 106 rounds of ammunition, Mrozek said.
Costa pleaded guilty to the felon-in-possession charge and he was sentenced in January 2013 by U. S. District Judge Virginia
A. Phillips to one year and one day in federal
prison, Mrozek said.
By August this year, the Bureau of Prisons had assigned Costa to the halfway house, a "residential re-entry center" in Rubidoux, Mrozek said.
"According to court documents,
Costa signed out of the facility in order to go to a state-run
employment office, but he never returned," Mrozek said.
Costa was then charged with escape in a criminal complaint filed in federal court Aug. 16, Mrozek said.
Meanwhile, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives continued investigating the case involving the pipe bombs.
concluded Wednesday Sept. 11 when a federal grand jury in Riverside returned the
seven-count indictment against Costa, Mrozek said.
"Costa is currently a fugitive being sought by federal authorities," Mrozek said. "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, the ATF, Palm Springs police and the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. Federal marshals also want to locate and arrest Costa.
If Costa is convicted, the charge of possessing an unregistered destructed device carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison, and the escape charge carries a maximum of five years in prison.