Fugitive Who Faces Charges Related to Pipe Bombs Found in Residential Neighborhoods Arrested in Banning

Banning, California - A Desert Hot Springs man who was charged for illegally possessing pipe bombs he allegedly left in Palm Springs neighborhoods and who became a fugitive after escaping from custody over the summer was arrested Monday following a joint effort by the FBI and the Banning Police Department, announced Bill Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

Over the weekend, the FBI received information that Costa had been living in the Banning area in the recent past. A joint effort by the FBI and the Banning Police Department to locate the exact whereabouts of Costa resulted in his capture on Monday in Banning, without incident.

Costa was held overnight in Banning, California, and was transferred to the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside County this morning. Costa is scheduled to have an initial appearance in United States District Court in Riverside this afternoon at 3:00p.m.

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 was arrested following a joint investigation conducted over the weekend by the Banning Police Department and the FBI.

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. The United States Marshals Service provided assistance in the effort to locate Costa. Costa will be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office, Central District of California.

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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