Details of animal cruelty charges against ex-Socorro councilman Jesse Gandara Jr. revealed

EL PASO, Texas - A search warrant affidavit states Jesus "Jesse" Gandara Jr. had several roosters, chickens, and chicks that allegedly did not have food or water.

At about 11:40 a.m. on April 25, El Paso County Sheriff's deputies executed an evidentiary search warrant at Gandara's home in the 300 block of Vineyard in Socorro, Texas.

While conducting a search of the exterior of the home detectives found about 15 chickens and roosters on the property, three of which had recently died.

"The chickens were in poorly kept conditions in coops approximately 10 feet by 10 feet, with no food or water," according to the search warrant affidavit. "Some of the chickens were pecking on a recently deceased chicken. Detectives also discovered 16 chicks in an aquarium inside a storage room. The chicks were in a 30 gallon aquarium with a heat lamp, with no food or water. The defendant intentionally or knowingly unreasonably failed to provide necessary food, water, or care for the animals in his custody."

The affidavit also states that detectives on the propoerty saw a small black dog belonging to Gandara wearing a flea collar "but was grossly infested with fleas.

"The defendant (Gandara) failed to take reasonable care for the canine as the animal was poorly kept," according to the affidavit. Gandara was charged with animal cruelty because of the alleged condition of the chickens and the dog.

Gandara spent the night of April 25 in jail after being charged with animal cruelty and possession of 2 ounces of marijuana.

Gandara did not want to make a statement as he walked out of the El Paso County Jail early Friday morning.

He was arrested Thursday after the El Paso County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at his home and Socorro City Hall.

It was not immediately known what the sheriff's deputies were looking for at the two locations, but sheriff's spokeswoman Chris Acosta said the search had to do with the complaint filed by the owner of the Licon Dairy.

In February, the prominent San Elizario business owner released a recording in which Gandara appears to be offering him a bribe in exchange for his support of Socorro's annexation of San Elizario.

Gandara denied wrongdoing.

Thursday, sheriff's investigators searched Gandara's home as he stood outside with his young son. Shortly after, Gandara was taken inside, then escorted into a patrol unit in handcuffs.

Gandara was charged with animal cruelty after investigators said they found some abused chickens and roosters. It is not known how many animals were seized or their condition.

Sheriff's officials said only their agency was involved in the search.

This is the second time in two months that Gandara has been arrested.
Gandara was arrested in mid-March after he was indicted on a felony theft charge.
Gandara and a Socorro police sergeant are accused of using a city vehicle to take a trip and claiming excess travel expenses from the city.

Gandara had some strong words about the El Paso County Sheriff's Office after he was released from jail in March.

"We've always said there's corruption within the sheriff's department, Richard Wiles and these allegations they've made against me. Being from Socorro, we stand up against those people who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for the past two and a half years investigating me," Gandara told ABC-7 on March 19.

Gandara said he believes the arrest was politically motivated to make him look bad before the May election.

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