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BSO Sgt. Kreg Costa granted $250,000 bail after child porn arrest

Costa to be placed on house arrest upon release

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A Broward Sheriff's Office sergeant arrested on child pornography charges appeared in court Friday morning, where he was ordered to remain in jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Sgt. Kreg Costa's defense attorney was hoping to get $50,000 bail for his client and prosecutors had asked the judge to set it at $345,000.

Although Costa was paid $145,000 last year, his lawyer argued that he doesn't have much equity in his home and he might not be able to bond out of jail.

"The monetary component is not as important, but it is so important to a family with five children, and they have to come up with legal fees and the cost of the investigation and all of that is really punitive," Costa's attorney, James Benjamin said. "I think right now it may be impossible for this family to be able to comply with this bond. It may be tantamount to no bond, and we need to go back and see if it is possible even."

As part of the conditions of his release, Costa will be placed on house arrest if he posts bail and will be outfitted with a GPS ankle monitor. He will be allowed supervised visits with his five children, but will not be allowed to be near any other minors.

Costa was arrested Thursday on more than two dozen child porn and illicit sexual conduct charges.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said an investigation began in April after staff at the BSO's Weston district, where Costa works as a road patrol supervisor, noticed that he was staying in his office during his night shift with the lights turned off and his uniform belt and gun removed.

BSO detectives requested a computer usage report of Costa's work-issued laptop from January to March. It revealed that Costa was accessing hardcore pornography, incest-related and bondage websites while he was at work, BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said.

Detectives began monitoring Costa's internet activity and determined that he was engaging in sexually explicit exchanges with a 16-year-old girl via email, Twitter and video, Coleman-Wright said. She said Costa told the California teenager to record herself while she engaged in sex acts.

The girl told investigators that she first started communicating with Costa, whom she knew by his Twitter handle @CallMeSir34, when she was 15.

Costa was arrested Thursday morning after he arrived at work for a training class, Coleman-Wright said. He was initially suspended with pay effective April 25, but he has since been suspended without pay.

Costa faces a total of 29 charges, including use of a child in sexual performance and soliciting a child for unlawful sexual conduct using computer services or devices.

If he posts bail, he must stay in the tri-county area and is not allowed to possess any weapons.


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