Border Patrol supervisor gets home confinement in civil rights case

A supervisor with the U.S. Border Patrol was sentenced to home confinement and two years probation after she pleaded guilty to allegations she forced a La Joya woman to delete cellphone footage.

U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker sentenced Adriana Gandarilla to 60 days of home confinement and two years probation during a videoconference hearing Tuesday in connection with one count of depriving civil rights, records show.

The 45-year-old San Benito woman, and nearly 20-year-veteran of Border Patrol, was charged with depriving the civil rights of a La Joya woman who was recording Gandarilla with a cellphone during “law enforcement activity,” that was taking place at her residence, according to a news release from the Southern District of Texas U.S. Attorney’s office last September.

On May 6, 2018, the woman began recording Gandarilla at activity taking place at her home in La Joya — Gandarilla commanded the woman to stop recording with her cellphone, the release states.

According to the federal criminal complaint against Gandarilla, she “physically forced “M.P.” the initials used in the complaint to refer to the victim, “to delete from her cellphone a recorded video of law enforcement activity by grabbing “M.P.” by her neck and arms and pushing “M.P.” against the front outside wall of her residence, willfully depriving “M.P.” of the rights, protected by the (U.S.) Constitution..”

Gandarilla, who pleaded guilty to the one count of depriving civil rights on Sept. 18, 2020 — avoiding a jury trial, was facing a maximum of up to one year in federal prison and a possible $100,000 maximum fine.

CBP officials confirmed Gandarilla as currently employed but declined to provide further details.