Border Patrol agent monitors U.S.-Mexico border.  Photo by Chris Stone
Border Patrol agent monitors U.S.-Mexico border. Photo by Chris Stone

A two-count criminal complaint unsealed in federal court Monday charges a U.S. Border Patrol supervisor with video voyeurism for allegedly placing a video camera in a women’s restroom at the agency’s facility on Beyer Boulevard in southern San Diego.

Armando Gonzalez, 45, is also charged with making false statements. He made his initial court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jill Burkhardt, who set bail at $50,000 and issued an order forbidding the defendant from contacting alleged victims, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A March 19 preliminary hearing and April 2 arraignment were set for Gonzalez, who was arrested Friday.

The complaint alleges Gonzalez made false statements when he stated that images captured on the hidden camera that were not related to a drug investigation were deleted, when in fact they were saved.

Beginning in July 2013 and continuing through at least Jan. 9 of this year, Gonzalez allegedly captured images of women’s private areas without their consent, according to the charging document.

According to a statement of probable cause, the hidden camera contained video files showing a white male believed to be Gonzalez using a screwdriver to install the camera in a drain in the women’s restroom; a female’s undergarment clad breast as she changed her shirt in the restroom; and part of a female’s naked buttock as she prepared to sit on the toilet and again as she stood.

Investigators searched the defendant’s office last month and allegedly found video files containing images recorded inside the restroom that showed the private areas of multiple female victims, including images of naked and/or undergarment clad genital, pubic area, buttock and/or female breasts as the victims changed and/or used the toilet.

According to the statement of probable cause, Gonzalez told officials that he placed the video recorder in the restroom because he suspected one of his employees was engaging in illegal drug use at work.

— City News Service