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US Border Patrol supervisor accused of hiding camera in women’s bathroom

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SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – A U.S. Border Patrol supervisor has been arrested on charges stemming from a camera he is accused of hiding in a women’s bathroom at the San Diego border patrol station, federal officials said on Saturday.

Armando Gonzalez, 46, is being held at the federal prison in San Diego on charges contained in a sealed court file, the FBI said.

The charges will be unsealed at his first court appearance Monday, said FBI spokesman Darrell Foxworth. He was taken into custody at his home on Friday without incident, Foxworth said.

Gonzalez had been under investigation by federal and local law enforcement following his Jan. 9 arrest by the San Diego Police Department on a misdemeanor charge of peeping with a recording device. He was released shortly after that arrest.

San Diego police had responded to the border station after receiving a report that a camera had been discovered in the women’s restroom, according to a police statement.

A week later, two female Border Patrol employees sought restraining orders against Gonzalez, one of which was granted on Friday.

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There were at least eight women captured on camera, including Border Patrol agents and female employees of other federal agencies, according to a report broadcast on ABC affiliate KGTV.

San Diego police and federal law enforcement executed a search warrant on Gonzalez’s home in February looking for “things related to recording devices, computers and images,” Foxworth said.

The search warrant and the list of items taken remain under seal in federal court.

Gonzalez is on administrative leave pending the criminal investigation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement.

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Gonzalez’s attorney, Gretchen Von Helms, did not respond to calls and emails for comment on Saturday. She told KGTV the camera was an investigative tool and Gonzalez’s previous arrest resulted from a misunderstanding.

Gonzalez has more than 20 years’ experience with the U.S. Border Patrol and is a supervisor in the Critical Incident Investigation Team.

(Editing by Victoria Cavaliere and Matthew Lewis)

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