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Willie Gandara Junior, pleaded guilty August 17 in a federal court in El Paso, Texas to drug trafficking conspiracy charges. Willie Gandara is nephew to Jesus Gandara, former superintendent of Sweetwater Union High School District. Jesus Gandara was indicted by the San Diego district attorney in January 2012 for perjury, filing a false document, and subsequently bribery.

According to the El Paso Times, Willie Gandara Jr. "pleaded guilty to charges he conspired with others to possess marijuana, and bought a Socorro ranch from which he distributed the drug." The Times also reported that the maximum sentence for each of Willie Gandara's charges is 20 years in prison.

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rcarlton Aug. 18, 2012 @ 6:17 a.m.

The apple didn't fall far from the tree.........hope his uncle gets a conviction of his own.


cvres Aug. 18, 2012 @ 9:49 a.m.

When is the ex-supe Gandara going to trial? Or was the indictment merely drama?


erupting Aug. 18, 2012 @ 1:05 p.m.

Gandara goes on trial along with Quionones,Ricasa,and Sandoval on Jan.7th or 9th. I forgot for certain but it will appear in all the news media I'm sure. If you check the County records you will see that Ricasa has a defense fund and has taken donations to pay for her attorney. She lent herself 50,000 dollars to aid in this situation. I hope someone out there can explain how this is done? Reader please let us know what sentence is handed down.


SurfPuppy619 Aug. 18, 2012 @ 2:43 p.m.

The have to be convicted before a sentence can be handed down, and trials are always unpredictable.


Visduh Aug. 18, 2012 @ 7:15 p.m.

Do you really think those will go to trial? These seem like the sort of cases that are nearly always resolved with guilty pleas. The real question is, if they do plead these cases down, will justice be served? If the right sort of convictions are recorded, they'll be out of office and out of their fat jobs. If the DA wimps out, they may just get off with misdemeanors, and not lose any of those things. There are many months/weeks between now and January. Expect the unexpected in these cases.


anniej Aug. 18, 2012 @ 7:20 p.m.

Visduh: doubt if they will be able to plead this out - it is time that a message is sent - public office is not meant to be used for political or personal gain, it is a place to serve.


SurfPuppy619 Aug. 18, 2012 @ 11:17 p.m.

In felony cases in federal court only 3% go to trial. So a plea is pretty much what will happen. As for time off for good behavior- they only give 15% in federal cases. So if you get 10 years you're doing the entire sentence minus 15% = 8.5 years. You know the exact day you will be released. If the case is weak it could go to trial, but that is very unlikely according to the stats.


eastlaker Aug. 18, 2012 @ 6:29 p.m.

So he could get a maximum of 60 years, but it is unlikely that will happen. I think he should get some prison time, but wonder with plea bargaining what will be left at the end.

2 - 5 years with credit for time served and time off for good behavior? I hope it will be more substantial than that.


anniej Aug. 18, 2012 @ 7:24 p.m.

Eastlaker: please note this is Texas we are talking about - plea bargaining, not too sure they are into that kind of thing down there. socorro, texas has about had it with the corruption that 'the gandara' clan spewed throughout the town. the nephew, the brother, and gandara. wow, now that is family tree!


Visduh Aug. 19, 2012 @ 3:33 p.m.

Sounds as if Jesus G was going legit, inasmuch as he was a teacher, then an administrator, and had a (doubtful) doctorate. But the leopard cannot change his spots, and his heritage sent him down a bad path anyway.


anniej Aug. 19, 2012 @ 4:03 p.m.

Visduh: while ones heritage can influence, in the end we are the captains of our own ship. each allegedly corrupt 'gandara' are responsible for their own choices. doubt very seriously if the grandmother looked at these gentlemen as babies and thought - future crook.


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