in Houston, Texas
Fmr. El Paso County commissioner known as ‘Godfather’ to plead guilty in marijuana trafficking case
Friday, Jun 29, 2012, 01:02PM CST
By Mike Cronin

A former El Paso County commissioner will plead guilty next month to charges in a marijuana trafficking case against him, federal court records show. Which ones are unknown.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested Guillermo “Willie” Gandara Jr., 37, Gandara Jr. on Feb. 22, Adriana M. Chávez of the El Paso Times reported today:

Soon after Gandara's arrest, he resigned as county commissioner and withdrew as a candidate in the District 75 state representative race.

A DEA agent testified during an initial court appearance that agents secretly recorded conversations between Gandara and a confidential informant in which Gandara, whom agents said was nicknamed "God father," bragged about running a drug pipeline from El Paso to Oklahoma and Chicago.

A video recorded on Sept. 9, 2011, allegedly showed Gandara standing next to a truck while marijuana packages were transferred from one vehicle to another at Gandara's scrap yard.

Gandara is charged with conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute; possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and aiding and abetting; and three counts of establishment of manufacturing operations.

Contact Mike Cronin at or 713-228-2850. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelccronin or @texaswatchdog.

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Photo of marijuana plant by flickr user North Cascades National Park, used via a Creative Commons license.

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