Las Vegas, Nevada - A man who violently assaulted a woman with a Taser device at an apartment complex in Las Vegas and carjacked her vehicle was sentenced this week to 15 years in federal prison and five years of supervised release, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Keith Michael Costa, 35, of Las Vegas, was sentenced on May 27, 2014, by U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey. Costa pleaded guilty on March 20, 2014, to one count of carjacking resulting in serious bodily injury and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.
“When possible, we will use federal laws to prosecute recidivist offenders who are committing violent crimes in our Nevada communities,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “We work with our local police departments to regularly review violent crimes that occur in Nevada to determine whether they should be prosecuted federally.”
According to the court records, on July 2, 2013, Costa went to the office of an apartment complex on West Charleston Boulevard to inquire about renting several apartments. As Costa left the office, he encountered a female tenant and demanded her car keys. When she refused to turn them over, Costa pushed her to the ground and shocked her with the Taser at least seven or eight times. Costa then tried to steal the victim’s 2009 Audi A4 sedan, but the keys were not in the car. The victim ran inside the office, and Costa chased after her and continued to attack her with the Taser in the presence of the manager and another employee until she turned over the keys to her car. Costa then fled in the car. The victim, who was an exchange student from Thailand, had to be treated at the hospital for the injuries she sustained during the carjacking.
On July 23, 2013, a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officer stopped Costa in Las Vegas as he was driving a black BMW sedan with paper plates. Costa argued with the officer and fled in the BMW, leading the patrol officer and a backup unit on a high speed car chase on surface streets and on U.S.95. During the pursuit, Costa was driving over medians, going the opposite way in traffic, and traveling at speeds of up to 140 miles per hour. At one point, Costa almost struck a female pedestrian who was pushing a baby stroller. Costa was ultimately able to escape the police. Two days later, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officers located Costa at a motel on E. Tropicana and arrested him. Costa fought physically with police officers who were trying to arrest him and reached for a firearm in his pant waistband, which turned out to be a stolen 9mm handgun. Costa, who in 2002 had previously been convicted in Nevada of the federal felony offense of access device fraud, was prohibited from possessing the gun.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, as part of the Safe Streets Task Force and Project Safe Neighborhoods program. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip N. Smith, Jr.