Monday 16 March 2015
Fidel Salinas faced up to 440 years in prison for allegedly disrupting the normal operation of a government web server in Hidalgo, Texas for a single day. Fidel caused no lasting damage, leaked no secrets, and stole no identities, but was nevertheless charged 44 counts of computer fraud under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Facing a possibility of over four centuries of prison time, Fidel plead out to a single misdemeanor, for which he was sentenced six months and a $10,600 fine.
The last time Amber Arriaga-Salinas saw her husband, alleged computer hacker Fidel Salinas, was on a Friday afternoon, on Feb. 13th. Shortly after Amber’s husband remanded himself into the custody of the US Marshals, he was placed into solitary confinement, with no possibility of contacting his family, his attorney, or his doctor.
Amber reported that Fidel had been told his medication was “lost” after the first day he was transferred to the Karnes Correctional Facility, approximately a week after his sentence began. A representative from the facility could not be reached for comment.
“The last time I spoke to him… he said the doctor told him he wouldn’t be getting his medication, but gave him no reason as to why,”
Fidel Salinas was prescribed medications to treat an anxiety disorder, which his wife Amber says is genetic. Anxiety disorders are known to be exacerbated by solitary confinement, as the conditions cause a heightened and persistent state of anxiety.
Fortunately, after weeks of maltreatment, Fidel was transferred to the medium security FCI Three Rivers Facility and allowed to contact his family. Amber reported that Fidel was still not receiving his medication, but that he is no longer being held in solitary confinement.