Adult Supervision Tech Highlights Penalties of Removing Ankle Monitor
EDINBURG – Investigators are trying to locate one-year old Paris Gomez’s mother Francia Joseline Villegas-Amaro, who is accused of kidnapping the child and fleeing to Mexico.
Investigators believe she removed her court ordered ankle monitor before leaving the country.
Robert Longoria specializes in adult supervision technology. His company provides courts with supervision devices of all kinds.
"Well, we have a full range of technology; everything from alcohol monitors to GPS monitors," said Longoria, "All the latest stuff."
Amaro is accused of kidnapping her own child. She lost custody due to her prior crimes involving narcotics.
It is unclear how Amaro removed a court ordered ankle monitor or if it was reinforced with steel.
Longoria said even the toughest devices available can be removed.
"I mean any device, even the ones with steel wiring in them, in the bracelet, can be cut," said Longoria. "It's just, how hard it’s going to be."
Longoria claims most devices can be removed with a knife.
Removing a monitor is considered a violation of probation. The penalties for taking it off without permission vary.
"It would all depend on what the individual is monitored for," said Longoria.
According to the Texas penal code, violators could get 180 days or a year in jail depending on the class of misdemeanor.
Third degree felony offenders could face two to 10 years in prison, second degree felonies could 2 to 20 and first degree felonies could face 5 to 99 years behind bars.
Longoria told CHANNEL 5 NEWS the devices can alert monitors when they're being tampered with.
"The devices have built in sensors and mechanisms that tell us that they're being messed with or being compromised,” explained Longoria.
These devices are not cheap and the wearer pays for them.
Upfront costs range from $150 to about $345. That doesn't include the daily service costs of about $3 to $6 a day.
Once a criminal is caught without their ankle monitor, the court will decide if they’ll return to serve out their sentence.
The court also has the option to increase violators’ penalties for removing the device.
Each of the potential penalties could carry fines ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 for misdemeanors and up to $10,000.
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