Maryland Man Facing Federal Indictment for Drug Conspiracy and Firearms Charges
Defendant is Also Charged in Washington, D.C. for his Alleged Participation in the Capitol Riot
Baltimore, MD (STL.News) A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Elias Nick Costianes, Jr., age 43, of Nottingham, Maryland, for two counts of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance—specifically, testosterone and cocaine. The indictment also charges Costianes with possession of firearms and ammunition by an unlawful user of any controlled substance.
The indictment was returned on November 18, 2021 and Costianes will have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore at a later date. Costianes remains released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services since his arrest on a related federal criminal complaint.
The indictment 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 the three-count indictment and other court documents, on February 12, 2021, the FBI executed search warrants at Costianes’s residence, on his vehicle, and on Costianes’ cellphone. Court documents allege that law enforcement recovered four firearms from the residence: a 9mm pistol; a M&P 15 semi-automatic rifle; a .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle; and a 12-gauge shotgun, as well as 9mm, .22 caliber, .223 caliber, and shotgun ammunition. Law enforcement also allegedly recovered three vials of testosterone enanthate and one vial of testosterone cypionate, both controlled substances.
As detailed in court documents, the electronic evidence from Costianes’ phone, including photographs and text message conversations, allegedly revealed that Costianes used and conspired to traffic cocaine and testosterone by acquiring controlled substances from his suppliers to distribute to friends and associates.
The indictment alleges that the conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute testosterone lasted from February 2020 through February 2021 and the conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine lasted from March through December 2020.
If convicted, Costianes faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each of the two counts of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance; and a maximum of 10 years in prison for possession of firearms and ammunition by an unlawful user of a controlled substance. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey J. Izant, who is prosecuting the federal case.