cuffs, handcuffs
Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen

A former U.S. Border Patrol supervisor was sentenced on Monday to 21 months in federal prison for secretly placing a camera in a floor drain of a women’s restroom at a Chula Vista Border Patrol facility to videotape co-workers in various stages of undress.

Armando Gonzalez, 47, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, who called the facts of the case “shocking.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alessandra Serano said the secret camera — which captured images of female private parts — was in place for about 18 months.

Some of Gonzalez’s victims told the judge they feared the footage and images would one day end up on the Internet.

“When Armando Gonzalez put a video camera down the drain of a women’s restroom, he also put his career, his honor and his freedom down that drain,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “This is a fitting sentence for a man who sullied his badge with such despicable behavior.”

The video camera was discovered Jan. 9 at the Border Patrol facility in San Ysidro. Gonzalez told his superiors that he placed the camera in the restroom because he suspected drug use by one of his employees.

As part of his plea bargain, Gonzalez admitted that wasn’t true. Gonzalez pleaded guilty in May to making false statements to federal officers and seven counts of video voyeurism involving women who were recorded without their knowledge as they used the restroom or changed clothes between July 2013 and April 2014.

Investigators searched the defendant’s office in February and found video files containing images recorded inside the restroom that showed the private areas of multiple female victims.

The defendant was with the Border Patrol for 20 years.

— City News Service