Customs and Border Protection Official Charged with Making False Statements and with Video Voyeurism
Today, FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric S. Birnbaum, announced the arrest of and unsealing of a two-count federal complaint against a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer as a result of an investigation into the placement of a hidden video camera inside of the women’s restroom at a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) building in San Diego, California.
Armando Gonzalez, age 46, was arrested on Friday, March 6, 2015, at approximately 3:30 p.m. in El Cajon, California. Gonzalez was arrested without incident by FBI agents, along with agents and/or officers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG), U.S. Customs Border Protection-Internal Affairs, and San Diego Police Department. Following his arrest, Gonzalez was transported to the San Diego FBI Field Office for fingerprinting and photographing.
Gonzalez was arrested pursuant to a federal arrest warrant based upon a federal complaint charging Gonzalez with violation of Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1801(a), Video Voyeurism and Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1001 (a)(2), False Statements.
According to the complaint filed in this matter, on January 9, 2015, a hidden video camera was discovered in a women’s restroom located inside of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) United States Border Patrol (USBP), Critical Incident Investigative Team (CIIT). The CIIT is housed in a building further identified as Building CA0475, located within the CBP complex otherwise known as the Chula Vista Border Patrol Station at 3752 Beyer Boulevard in Chula Vista, California.
According to the complaint, a review of the micro SD card from the camera contained images and video believed to from the interior of the women’s restroom. One of the video files captured images of a white male wearing a ball cap and Charger’s sweatshirt, using a screwdriver to install the camera into a drain in the women’s restroom. The white male is believed to be Gonzalez placing the camera inside of the restroom. The SD card also contained video files depicting activity within the women’s restroom.
On February 6, 2015, an SD card recovered from Gonzalez’s office was examined by an FBI agent pursuant to a federal search warrant. The SD card contained, among other files, 169 video files with a creation or modified dates for the period July 20, 2013 through December 23, 2014. The video files contained images of activity allegedly recorded inside of the CIIT women’s restroom.
On March 6, 2015, Gonzales was booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), San Diego, California pending his initial appearance in federal court before a U.S. Magistrate Judge on Monday, March 9, 2015.
On Monday, March 09, 2015, Gonzales appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge, Jill Burkhardt. During this hearing several matters were addressed including Gonzales being made aware of the filing of federal charges via a complaint against him. U.S. Magistrate Judge, Jill Burkhardt, set bond at $50,000 (secured by the signatures of two financially responsible adults) and issued an order forbidding Gonzalez from having contact with any of the victims in this case. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for March 19, 2015 at 9:30 a.m., before U.S. Magistrate Judge, Jill Burkhardt.
This case is being investigated by the FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG), U.S. Customs Border Protection-Internal Affairs, and San Diego Police Department.
This matter is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of California, San Diego, California.
An arrest and filing of a complaint are not evidence that the defendant committed the crime(s) charged. The defendant is presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.