Ex-West Texas official gets 6½ years in drug case
Former El Paso County commissioner sentenced to 6½ years for drug trafficking
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A disgraced former West Texas elected official has been sentenced to 6½ years in prison for drug trafficking and money laundering.
A judge in El Paso sentenced former El Paso County commissioner Willie Gandara on Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo also fined the 37-year-old politician $300,000 and forfeited more than $120,000 in property.
Gandara had been running for a seat in the Texas House when he was arrested in February. He pleaded guilty Aug. 17 to drug trafficking conspiracy and using a property for marijuana smuggling.
Prosecutors say men last October tried to smuggle 124 pounds of marijuana through a remote border checkpoint by hiding the drugs in Chicago-bound boxes of chili powder.
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