El Paso Official Arrested on Drug Charges

Feb 24, 2012

An El Paso county commissioner has been arrested on drug related charges. The case is part of an ongoing federal investigation into public corruption.

County Commissioner Willie Gandara Jr. grew up in a family of modest means in the border town of Socorro just outside El Paso. He represents the southernmost region of El Paso county, an area known for heavy smuggling activity. Late Wednesday night Gandara was arrested by agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency. He is charged with five counts related to the possession and distribution of 50 pounds of marijuana. Gandara is also running for a seat in the Texas House of Representatives. His father, Willie Sr., was ousted as mayor of his hometown and is currently being investigated on charges of fraud and bribery. One of his city councilmen plead guilty to selling marijuana to undercover sheriff's deputies last year.