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Another Gandara made Texas news yesterday. This time it was Guillermo "Willie" Gandara, Jr. According to the El Paso Times, this Gandara, who is nicknamed "Godfather," is scheduled to plead guilty July 13 to federal drug-trafficking charges. The July 6 article reports that, Juan Canales, a co-conspirator "pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring with Gandara to smuggle marijuana from Socorro to Chicago."

The article goes on to say "A DEA agent testified during an initial court appearance that agents secretly recorded conversations between Gandara and a confidential informant in which Gandara bragged about running a drug pipeline from El Paso to Oklahoma and Chicago." The 124 pounds of marijuana bound for Chicago were hidden in boxes of chili powder.

After the arrest, Guillermo "Willie" Gandara Jr., resigned as county commissioner and withdrew as a candidate for state representative.

Willie Gandara Sr. was the former mayor of the city of Socorro and also a former trustee of the Socorro Independent School District. The Valley Star, another Texas newspaper, reported in January 2012, "Willie Gandara Sr. has been under federal indictment by a grand jury in El Paso since August 2010 in connection with an investigation into corruption. He has not pleaded guilty."

The Gandara Sr. case was related to a health care benefits vendor, ACCESS Health Source. The Valley Star article explains: "the indictment alleges that ACCESS conspired to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity, including mail fraud, wire fraud and bribery."

In San Diego, Jesus Gandara, former superintendent of Sweetwater Union High School District, is scheduled to appear in court on January 7, 2013. He is charged with bribery, perjury, filing a false document and other counts. He has pleaded not guilty.

Guillermo "Willie" Gandara, Jr. is nephew to Jesus Gandara.

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anniej July 6, 2012 @ 2:29 p.m.

drug smuggling - - what next? there is nothing about the gandara family that would surprise me at this point.

what i do know is that i want to rid of our district of anything gandara, including the two board members who brought jesus gandara here - those two board members would be jim cartmill and arlie ricasa. while there were other board members who voted him in the brunt of the responsibility lies with these two - if ONLY they would have taken the time to vet him - or perhaps i am speaking out of turn - perhaps they did just that, could it be that they did vet him and maybe that is the real issue. what is it they say about birds of a feather?

the damage that has been done by this one man 'the gandara' will have long lasting effects on our entire district.


eastlaker July 6, 2012 @ 5:02 p.m.

Interesting that he is pleading guilty.

I wonder also what the result will be from the raid on Jesus Gandara's son's home--reported here in the Reader a couple of days ago.

While I don't want to indulge in schadenfreude, I will say it is nice to know that authorities in Texas have decided to do something about some of their problems.

We need the cooperation of our own authorities now--what will it take?

What can we do to get through to the County Board of Education, the State Board of Education, the mayor's office of the city of Chula Vista, the Board of Supervisors of San Diego County? Why is it that they play at being so out of touch? Or are they really that out of touch???


joepublic July 6, 2012 @ 6:20 p.m.

eastlaker: It really is bothersome that no one on any civic council, board, committee, or any office holder in Chula Vista has come out and voiced an opinion, called for action, or at least called for an investigation into what has been going on in their high school district. How can you be an elected leader in your community and not advocate in their behalf?


eastlaker July 7, 2012 @ 9:57 a.m.

If you are a leader in name only, and are only in your position long enough to aim for something higher up the food chain, I guess it makes sense to just keep quiet. Keeping quiet doesn't require any courage or insight or ethics, so that's probably in line with the empty shells we have supposedly representing us. But they are the ones who will have to live with their shortcomings and fears for the rest of their lives. It will then be our turn to ignore them. Should we call them out as cowards?


anniej July 6, 2012 @ 8:45 p.m.

Joepublic: i too am frustrated, however i choose to believe that sooner or later the house of cards called sweetwater will falter - and when it does, i mean really does all hell is going to break loose. we will have national media crawling all over the place and they too will be demanding answers from those considered to be community leaders.

i look forward to the trials when bca aka paul bunton and mr flores are called to testify - no doubt there will be a seasoned prosecutor who will ask 'for the record' who else was involved? who else, even though their paper work was filled out correctly benefitted from the 'alleged' corruption. and then folks, we can bring out the new cheese flavored pop corn, pop our harvey's, pour a tall goblet, sit back and relish in a bath of truth - FINALLY.

ALLEGEDLY, for the record, for some mysterious reason bca aka paul bunton is no longer working on prop o projects - now why do you think that is???????????????????


erupting July 8, 2012 @ 1:44 p.m.

This family is dirtier than dirt. It seems the whole family of Gandaras are in some type of trouble.It reminds me of the saying what goes around comes around. Didn't we just read about Gandara jr.a week ago? Stay tuned folks for more on the Gandara show. This is real not like Dallas.


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