FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – A Broward Sheriff’s Detective is facing criminal charges after investigators say he tampered with a witness.
Anthony Costanzo, a 12-year veteran of BSO, turned himself on Wednesday to face four felony charges, according to the Broward State Attorney’s Office.
According to an arrest report Costanzo apparently thought he was helping a fellow officer who had legal troubles of his own — Billy Koepke, a Fort Lauderdale Police Officer who had recently been arrested for stealing money and prescription drugs from pain clinic customers.
Koepke and fellow officer Brian Dodge were arrested on a slew of charges in November.
Investigators with the Broward State Attorney’s Office say the case against Costanzo began in January in the 5600 block of North Dixie Highway.
Officers pulled over a car and Costanzo arrived for back up. A female passenger in the car was arrested and taken to BSO’s Oakland Park station.
Once inside, investigators say the woman told deputies that she was a witness in the criminal case against Fort Lauderdale Officer Billy Koepke.
According to prosecutors, Costanzo considered Koepke a “buddy”. Costanzo is accused of recording a conversation with the female witness about Koepke’s case.
The arrest warrant says Costanzo had the conversation “…with the intent of misleading her about the circumstances surrounding the criminal proceeding against Billy Koepke.”
Prosecutors say Costanzo sent a copy of the video to Koepke — believing it would help Koepke’s criminal case. Investigators say Costanzo even showed the recording to a BSO Sergeant.
The arrest affidavit says Costanzo was immediately suspended from duty.
Wednesday, Costanzo was arrested.
According to the arrest warrant, Costanzo removed or deleted the video in the days after he took it.
Costanzo is free on 5-thousand dollars bond. CBS 4 News wanted to speak with Costanzo about the charges but a recent address for him is in a gated community and we could not get inside.