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Note and card among items seized



Published: Fri, April 22, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



It is not known if anything was written on the items taken by FBI agents.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A thank-you card and note for the man Maridee Costanzo was accused of asking to arrange a hit on her estranged husband were among the items seized by FBI agents.

According to the return of the search warrant filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, agents took the card, several yellow note pads, loose yellow pieces of paper and a ripped photograph.

The return does not state if anything was written on any of the items seized.

The items were taken Tuesday, when agents spent several hours searching her home.

Atty. Costanzo, 46, of Warren, was arrested shortly before the search on a charge of using interstate commerce facilities in commission of murder for hire. She is in federal custody.

What is alleged

A 14-page affidavit prosecutors filed in U.S. District Court in support of the murder-for-hire charge states that a source told FBI agents that Costanzo had been trying to hire him or someone to kill her estranged husband, Atty. Roger Bauer.

The affidavit further states that the source tape-recorded numerous conversations with Costanzo from the end of March to last week in which she repeatedly says she wants to have Bauer killed.

Costanzo told the source April 13 that she was afraid of being set up and began writing notes on a 5-by-7 yellow notepad, the affidavit states. The source said that after she wrote about 10 notes, she burned the paper and threw the ashes down the drain.

The source also said she provided him with a picture of Bauer but tore the photo in half. The half she removed contained a picture of her, the affidavit stated. During one conversation, the source said he knew someone in Pennsylvania who could do the murder for $10,000 but wanted a $2,000 down payment.

The affidavit states Costanzo paid the source $1,100 and promised to pay the rest a few days later. When the source returned to her house, she said she was concerned about a setup and asked for her money to be refunded. The source told her she was not being set up and Costanzo agreed to continue with the plan but said she would pay the rest of the money in a couple of days, the affidavit states.

The affidavit does not state whether the rest was paid.

Costanzo is awaiting a preliminary hearing, scheduled for Monday in U.S. District Court.

Costanzo is already facing a felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon in a separate case that was bound over to a Trumbull County grand jury Monday.

She was stopped in a car March 19 a few blocks from Bauer's home. Police said they found a loaded gun in her pants.




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