Eleven indicted in El Paso public corruption case

September 2, 2010 10:51:24 AM PDT
Federal prosecutors have charged 11 people, including the mayor of a small West Texas town and the El Paso County district clerk, as part of a years-old federal public corruption case. Socorro Mayor Willie Gandara Sr. and District Clerk Gilbert Sanchez were among those who turned themselves in at the El Paso FBI office today.

Former El Paso County Judge Luther Jones has also been indicted, although prosecutors have not made public the details of the case.

Jones and Sanchez were previously indicted on charges related to a scheme to award a contract in exchange for kickbacks. Several charges in that original indictment have been dismissed, but both still face allegations of conspiracy. Both men have denied wrongdoing.

Federal investigators first made public a far-reaching public corruption investigation in 2006 when FBI agents raided the offices of a local charity. In 2007, agents also searched the offices of El Paso County Judge Anthony Cobos and a pair of county commissioners.

Several people have pleaded guilty to various crimes as part of the case, including soliciting or taking bribes.


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