09/26/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/26/2023 06:36
Baltimore, Maryland - Judge James K. Bredar yesterday sentenced Elias Nick Costianes, age 44, formerly of Nottingham, Maryland, to 24 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, after Costianes's plea of guilty to possession of firearms and ammunition by an unlawful user of any controlled substance.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron and Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
According to his plea agreement, on February 12, 2021, the FBI executed search warrants for Costianes's residence, his vehicle, and his cellphone. Costianes was taken into custody pursuant to an arrest warrant issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Costianes was advised of his Miranda rights and voluntarily agreed to be interviewed. Costianes told agents that he kept four firearms in cases in the basement. Law enforcement searched the basement and recovered the four firearms described by Costianes: a 9mm pistol; a M&P 15 semi-automatic rifle; a .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle; and a 12-gauge shotgun, as well as thousands of rounds of ammunition, including 9mm, .22 caliber, .223 caliber, and shotgun cartridges. A box containing 100 rounds of 9mm ammunition was also found in the trunk of Costianes' vehicle. Two of the firearms were semiautomatic and capable of accepting a large-capacity magazine.
As detailed in his plea agreement, during the search, law enforcement also recovered marijuana and four vials containing either testosterone enanthate or testosterone cypionate, both controlled substances. The electronic evidence from Costianes' phone, including photographs and text message conversations, revealed that Costianes illegally used cocaine, testosterone, and marijuana and that his use of each substance was consistent, prolonged, and recent. Costianes further admitted that he not only purchased cocaine and testosterone for personal use, but that he also conspired to distribute, and did distribute, cocaine and testosterone to others.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey J. Izant and P. Michael Cunningham, who prosecuted the federal case. Mr. Barron also thanked Paralegals Andrew Branigan, and Mark Phares, and Intelligence Research Specialist Angelina Thompson for their assistance.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
# # #