El Paso County Sheriff Upset with Socorro Councilman Over Alleged Assault

POSTED: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - 9:58pm

UPDATED: Sunday, May 8, 2011 - 11:03am

Harsh words Wednesday evening from El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles about a criminal complaint filed by Socorro Councilman Jesse Gandara Jr.

Sheriff  Wiles said that it all started Tuesday, when El Paso County Sheriff's Detectives were investigating a complaint about the pavement of some driveway entrances in Socorro.

Wiles said that one of those belonged to councilman Jesse Gandara Junior.

Sheriff Wiles explained that councilman Gandara began taking pictures of the detectives and a witness.

He said that when the witness said he didn't want to be photographed, one of the detectives approached Gandara, grabbed his camera and forced it down.

Gandara has filed a criminal complaint against the detective for assault.

According to the police report, Gandara says the detective "squeezed his hand causing him pain."
Sheriff Wiles admits Gandara had the right to videotape in a public area but he's fed up with what calls "the continuing circus of the Socorro City Council."

"I'm getting tired of all the stuff that we have to deal with and I'm tired of the sheriff's department being dragged into that situation," Sheriff Wiles said.  "They need to clean that stuff up out there.  I mean those citizens in Socorro deserve better than what they're getting."

"He's a city councilman," Wiles said.  "He's an elected official.  He knows better than this.  And he's out there videotaping us doing our job? Give me a break. That's just silly.  It's unprofessional.  It's unneccessary and so yeah, maybe the detective shouldn't have touched the camera. Ok, alright...and? And that means he should get arrested for a Class A Assault?"

Sheriff Wiles went on to question the fairness of the assault investigation because it's being conducted by the Socorro Police Department.

Socorro spokesman Dave Garcia said that councilman Gandara is "exceptionally disappointed with the uninformed opinions of the highest elected peace officer in the county."


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The Gandara's need to go. Out of office. They are a joke. They are like high school kids playing stupid games to try to make themselves look as if they are serving the people of Socorro. We need professional people to run our city.

There will never be a more professional, dignified, experienced, knowledgeable in his field sheriff than LEO SAMANIEGO. God rest his soul. He was the best. They don't make them like that anymore, and no one realized how lucky we were to have him.

I, for one, am sorry that I cast my vote for Wiles; although I must say that, generally speaking, Socorro is good for entertainment. What a mess!

C'mon Sheriff Wiles. When you lose your temper you lose control.

I'm proud of Sheriff Wiles for doing a great job in the El Paso area, this is the kind of policeman we need in the socorro area. We need to clean up with all the Soorro city council who is not helping the socorro people they are only taking our money. We want Gandara out for not doing his job, bribe people by paving their front entrance just to get a vote. That's not the way it works dude. We wand people we can trust and help us building a better community. Stop crying Gandara! Mr. Wiles #1.

I came up with a new slogan for our law enforcment:

EPPD/EPCS to serve and protect.....Themselves.

I have a suggestion for Richard Wiles: Wash your hair with Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo.....NO MORE TEARS!

Yet another broken law by another 'El Paso Law Enforcement Officer'. By definition (and im sure the cop knew this) touching a person or anything connected to that person constitutes an assualt. Even if the cop only touched the camera the assualt is still valid. You can bet that if the tables were turned Mr. Gandera would have been beaten on the spot (possibly tased),arrested,and beaten a little more (or verbally assualted)on his way downtown. This is the arrest/assualt process for most citizens!

Continuing Circus- that is the reason the Sherrifs department used head busting techniques? If that were the case, the El Paso Police Dept would have a field day with the circus of our city council. But on the serious side, its time to take a stand against these BADGE HEAVY THUGS, ABUSING THEIR UNIFORM AND BADGE, and hold their feet to the fire. I still think the Sheriffs dept has some respect in the community, not like the El Paso PD, lets see if Chief Wiles can make a good out a bad.

Sheriff Wiles, your deputy broke the law and violated a man's constitutional right to preserve evidence in a matter directly affecting him. You don't want your deputy held accountable by the town where his occurred. O.K., how do you propose to handle it? Suspension without pay?

Or do you consider El Paso a police state in which your officers are free to do as they please? "Tired of all the stuff we have to deal with?" Then resign, crybaby.

You have to wonder when law enforcement resists being videotaped. In El Paso, the police have gotten away with anything they wanted for so long, they have a sense of entitlement to break any law, any time. It is wonderful watching them squirm over having to obey the law themselves. Ain't videotaping grand?

So... If Wiles was in public video taping and he then got footage of me, and I grabbed his camera and "forced it down", I wouldn't get arrested? Yeah, right! I'd be in cuffs and hauled downtown so fast it would make my head spin. So, what's good for the goose should be good for the gander! Cops need to also be aware that they are NOT above the law just cause they carry a badge.

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