Grandfather, grandsons arrested during Falfurrias checkpoint smuggling attempt

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A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent and K-9 security dog keep watch at a checkpoint station, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Falfurrias, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

A grandfather and his two grandsons were arrested at the Falfurrias checkpoint Tuesday afternoon after Border Patrol agents found two people illegally present in the United States inside their vehicle.

Bobby Wayne and his grandsons, Damien Wayne and Austin Dakota Pyle, were charged with aiding, abetting and assisting one another while knowingly attempting to transport people illegally present in the country.

According to the criminal complaint, at 4:25 p.m., the trio approached the Falfurrias checkpoint in a white Ford Edge driven by Bobby.

When asked by agents, Bobby stated they were coming back from “their uncle’s funeral” and was then ordered to lower the back passenger window where Austin and Damien sat.

“The agent observed a lot of luggage packed in the back cargo area with a blanket over the top,” the affidavit said.

It was then a K-9 unit alerted agents to the vehicle.

Agents observed the vehicle approaching the secondary inspection area but it never stopped and drove past the inspection area.

They then pursued the Ford Edge which turned around and traveled south on Highway 281, eventually coming to a stop.

Agents found an additional two passengers inside the vehicle who were determined to be from Mexico and illegally present in the country.

During interviews with law enforcement, Damien stated that he met a friend a month ago in Victoria who contacted him days prior to the smuggling event asking him if he wanted to make money.

Damien said his friend, referred to as AG, told him he could make $3000.

He then asked Bobby and Austin if they wanted to make money, to which they agreed to.

The trio left Victoria at around 11 a.m. that Tuesday and drove to a Target parking lot in McAllen to pick up the people they were to smuggle, according to Bobby.

They waited for about 20 minutes before a silver Chevrolet Tahoe arrived where two people jumped out of the Tahoe and got in the back of the Ford Edge.

Austin described the facilitator as a Hispanic with a red, bushy beard in an American flag cap.

Damien stated that the exchange was done in a Burlington parking lot contrary to Bobby’s statements.

When asked why he ran, Bobby stated he didn’t want to be arrested but once he saw law enforcement units with their emergency lights on, he pulled over.

The trio were scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jason B. Libby in Corpus Christi federal court for their initial appearance Thursday morning.