Veteran BSO sergeant arrested on 29 charges including child porn, sex assault of child

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A veteran Broward Sheriff’s Office sergeant has been arrested on multiple charges including possession of child pornography and child molestation.

Sgt. Kreg Costa of the Weston district was booked at the Broward County Jail, at approximately 8 a.m. Thursday, according to BSO. “Today, detectives with our public corruption unit arrested Sgt. Kreg Costa on a multitude of child pornography charges,” said BSO Sheriff Scott Israel.

According to the arrest form, Costa has been charged with seven counts of using a child in a sexual performance, 12 counts of possession of child pornography, four counts of lewd and lascivious conduct, one count of sexual assault, four counts of soliciting or enticing a child using a computer and one count of transmitting information harmful to minors.

The department became suspicious when his command staff noticed Costa was not leaving his office during the late night hours of his overnight shift. According to the report, Costa was caught on several occasions in his office with the lights off and with his uniform and gun belt removed.

Costa was reprimanded for this, but he continued, according to the report.

An internal investigation was then initiated.

BSO Internal Affairs Maj. Angelo Cedeno said, “Upon being advised of what was being observed, we became proactive on our employee in efforts to reveal what exactly was going on during his shift.”

Internal affairs set up hidden surveillance cameras in his office and bugged his work computer in order to monitor his physical and online activity. Investigators caught Costa viewing hardcore porn on multiple websites while on duty, including underage websites and incest-related websites.

Investigators said he used social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to prey on young girls. They said Costa reached at least one victim. “A young girl who was 15 years old at the time, from California,” said Israel.

Detectives said Costa told the girl that he’s a family man in his 40s.

One excerpt from an online instant message conversation with the girl read, “CallMeSir34: Does Princess love her daddy” and the victim replied, “Babygirl: Yes daddy! Babygirl loves you very much.”

Another conversation read, “Babygirl: Babygirl is sorry, but she is tried and has school tomorrow.” He then responded, “CallMeSir34: It’s OK … didn’t you like the pic?”

The picture, investigators said, was of his erect penis.

Nude pictures were then found of this underage girl and of other minors on his laptop. According to the 16-year-old victim, she has a 4.0 GPA in high school, attends church and trusted Costa.

In total, over 150 photos and several videos of minors were discovered in his possession.

None of this sounds like the man who lived next to Joao Ferro for several years. “Beautiful family … his wife is a very special person. He is, too, he’s a very nice guy,” he said.

Shortly after the investigation, on April 25, Costa was suspended without pay for conduct unbecoming of an employee, according to the internal affairs memo from the BSO.

“If these allegations are true, this behavior is reprehensible and actually disgusting,” Israel said on May 13. “Our detectives will do everything in their power to fact find and make sure justice is served.”

As a result of Thursday’s arrest, Costa is no longer being paid.

Costa has worked with BSO for 17 years as a road patrol supervisor in Weston. As a result of his experience, he worked in concert with the department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Now, he’s being accused of doing the very same crime he used to investigate.

“It was illegal,” said Israel during a press conference. “He was immoral. He tarnished the badge, and we’ll investigate and move forward.”

Costa’s attorney, James Benjamin, told 7News the case is based on an alleged online relationship between Costa and a 16-year-old girl. He said Costa is innocent until proven guilty. “The whole thing is strange,” he said. “Every citizen accused is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Even if that person is a law enforcement officer. We are going to diligently investigate this case and defend the case.”

Costa was also the former president of Sawgrass Youth Tackle football league, the Sunrise Gators. He is also accused of secretly following two of the cheerleaders from this league on social media.

“It’s very disappointing, and I feel for the victim and I feel for the families,” Israel said, “and the facts speak for themselves.”

Costa has since been suspended without pay and is currently at the Broward County Jail, as of Thursday night. He is expected to go before a judge on Friday.

 

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