Socorro Councilman Jesse Gandara Jr. arrested for marijuana, animal cruelty charges
POSTED: Friday, April 26, 2013 - 9:28am
UPDATED: Monday, April 29, 2013 - 9:51am
Socorro, TX (KTSM) — UPDATE: Former Socorro City Rep. Jesse Gandara Jr. was booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility late Thursday evening, on shocking new charges.
Gandara now faces two charges of possession of marijuana and cruelty to animals.
Sheriff's deputies say, while conducting a raid at his home in Socorro, investigators found "mistreated" chickens and roosters, in addition to the pot.
NewsChannel 9 was there as Gandara was being escorted into the jail. He didn't make any comments.
His bonds total $1,300.
A complaint filed by the owner of Licon Dairy resulted in the execution of a search warrant on the home of Socorro City representative Jesse Gandara Jr.
During the search, members of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said they found Gandara Jr. to be in possession of marijuana. El Paso Sheriff's deputies handcuffed Gandara Jr. and took him away in a patrol car. A second search warrant was obtained for any additional narcotics and a K9 unit arrived to search the inside of his home, as well as the backyard.
Earlier in the day, El Paso Sheriff's deputies also executed a search warrant at Socorro City Hall. It is unclear what investigators were searching for inside the city hall building.
EPCSO was unable to release any more information related to this ongoing investigation.
Rene Rodriguez, a Socorro resident, said he is not surprised by Gandara's arrest.
"I was very happy for the fact that he got arrested. We don't know the extent that the corruption goes, but we're happy. Not just myself, but other people that I talk in Socorro, they feel that we need to change and this is a positive change, believe it or not," said Rodriguez.
Gandara Jr. was booked into the El Paso County Detention Center in March after turning himself in on theft charges. He was also charged with an additional count of misappropriating financial property up to $20,000.
Gandara is running for re-election for the District 4 seat. Election day is May 11.