Former Dallas-area ADT technician gets prison time for hacking into customers’ home security video feeds

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Sarah Freele said she hired ADT for her family’s safety and peace of mind.



A former ADT technician from the Dallas area will spend a little more than four years in federal prison for illegally accessing customers' accounts and watching live feeds from their home security cameras that he installed.


© Ryan Michalesko/Staff Photographer
A former ADT technician from the Dallas area will spend a little more than four years in federal prison for illegally accessing customers’ accounts and watching live feeds from their home security cameras that he installed.

But the technician who worked on her home security cameras, she said, might as well have been hiding in her bedroom closet for months, peaking through a crack in the door.

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That former ADT employee, Telesforo Aviles, was sentenced Wednesday to a little more than four years in federal prison for illegally accessing the security cameras of Freele and more than 200 other ADT customers in North Texas.

“He was logged on to my bedroom camera five times a day,” Freele told U.S. District Judge Brantley Starr at the sentencing hearing in Dallas. “He saw it all … every intimate moment.”

Aviles, 35, faced a maximum of five years in prison for computer fraud under the terms of his plea agreement, in which he admitted to accessing customer accounts over 9,600 times since 2015.

He was cuffed and taken into custody to begin serving his sentence after the hearing.

The quiet and introverted technician, a senior supervisor with 17 years at ADT, was caught last year after the company was alerted by a customer to suspicious activity, said his lawyer, Tom Pappas. Aviles, who is married with five children, turned himself in when he was asked to, Pappas said.

“He’s mortified by what he did,” Pappas said. “He sees what he did as a betrayal of himself, too.”

Of the nearly 10,000 images Aviles accessed, about 40 were “sexual in nature” and none involved children, Pappas said.

An ADT spokesman said the company had no comment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sid Mody had asked Starr to give Aviles the maximum sentence, saying that while 217 accounts were accessed, the total number of victims is much higher given that each household had multiple family members. That violation, he said, destroyed “in the worst way” their sense of feeling safe and secure at home.

“That’s going to affect them for the rest of their lives,”…

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