Ana Isabel Garcia, 31, and Brenda Stephanie Mata, 20 were arrested by undercover Laredo police after an anonymous tip was sent to the Laredo Police Department application.
“Both of the violators independently solicited customers via social media,” according to the Laredo police report.
“On both cases, an undercover officer working on the COVID-19 task force enforcement detail made contact with each solicitor to set up an appointment for a cosmetic, beauty service that is prohibited under the emergency ordinance.”
Castro-Garcia made an appointment with the undercover police officer to paint their nails, and later admitted to running a nail salon from her home. She also admitted to promoting her small business on social media, which goes against the current state laws of Texas.
Mata was arrested for allegedly making arrangements for eyelash services from her home for an undercover police officer acting as a customer.
Both Mata and Castro-Garcia have been charged with a Class B misdemeanor. The penalty for a Class B misdemeanor is 6 months jail time, $2,000 fine, or both the jail time and fine.
“We remind the community that there is an emergency management plan in place in order to control the spread of the novel COVID-19 virus. Laredo police officers continue to address violations of the order with enforcement,” the Laredo Police Department reports.
Across the United States, thousands on inmates have been released citing fears of coronavirus spread, yet the penalty for violating new social distancing policies in many states is placing these offenders under arrest and subjugation to the same conditions other criminals were released from for their own protection.
Residents of Texas are encouraged to make reports to their anonymous tip line that expose individuals such as these women who violate social distancing in order to run a business. Since cosmetology is considered a “non-essential” business, people who work at salons are out of work, and often don’t have many options for telecommunication the way some other businesses can.
Additionally, many are self employed, and thus ineligible for unemployment benefits.