Two women in Laredo, Texas, wound up arrested for allegedly offering small-scale salon services in violation of a stay-at-home order.
The arrest of the women, Ana Isabel Castro-Garcia and Brenda Stephanie Mata, was announced by the Laredo Police Department, the Laredo Morning Times reported April 20.
Anonymous tips received on April 15 originally led the LPD’s “COVID-19 task force” to conduct an investigation into the two, KGNS reported.
Undercover officers were dispatched to make contact with each of the women to see if they were offering services made illegal under a local decree.
After connecting with the women through social media, officers didn’t discover a speakeasy-style nail salon packed with unmasked people, but instead found the pair only offering small-scale beautician services.
For Castro-Garcia, this meant an arrest after allegedly agreeing to provide an undercover agent with nail work — a small business scalp that the LPD appears to be happy with.
“Castro-Garcia admitted to running a nail salon inside her residence and promoting the business on social media, going against the mayoral decree currently in place,” the department said in a statement.
Mata’s alleged crimes are equally as heinous –– the 20-year-old offered an undercover officer eyelash work, according to the LPD.
The two women are each being charged with violation of an emergency management plan, which could land them a hefty fine or even jail time.
According to KGNS-TV, this was not the Laredo Police Department’s first stay-at-home takedown.
So far, the department has issued at least 750 citations to violators of the stay-at-home order.
This is potentially a lucrative source of revenue during an otherwise rough economic time, where visiting a park (as 22 people were cited for) or simply standing too close to another human (as an additional 19 not practicing social distancing were ticketed over) can land you in an encounter with the law.
In states and cities with stay-at-home orders, residents are handed an impossible choice by the government.
For those with a job deemed “nonessential” by some arbitrary government process, there’s almost nothing that can legally be done. Without the ability to legally work, there’s little to do besides staying at home, hoping measly relief checks will be able to cover the growing number of bills.
If the government dole of relief checks doesn’t cover food, rent and other expenses, families face a potentially dire economic situation.
For Castro-Garcia and Mata, their only crime appears to be trying to make money with some honest work. Unfortunately, they chose to do so while communities and economies have been shuttered by authorities.
With citizens becoming increasingly frustrated with government overreach and lockdowns, actions like those taken by the Laredo Police Department will hopefully fade away in the near future.
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