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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 20, 2017

Austin Man Arrested/Charged After Landing Plane Containing Marijuana in Llano Early This Morning

In Austin this afternoon, federal authorities filed a criminal complaint against 64–year-old Wayne Douglas Brunet for possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Earlier this morning, state authorities arrested Brunet at the Llano (TX) Municipal Airport after discovering approximately 230 pounds of hydroponic marijuana on board his aircraft announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden, San Antonio Division.

 

The affidavit attached to the criminal complaint alleges that HSI agents were prepared to interdict Brunet last night as he attempted to land at an unmanned airport in Bulverde (TX). The Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operation Center (AMOC) began tracking the single-engine plane after observing that it had a suspicious flight pattern from Medford, OR, to Texas and had landed only once in Holbrook, AZ, to refuel.

 

The affidavit further states that Brunet landed at the unmanned airport in Bulverde, but departed again after spotting authorities on the ground. Brunet then proceeded to the Lago Vista (TX) airport, but again, aborted his landing as he did in Bulverde when encountered by law enforcement. Brunet then proceeded to the Llano Municipal Airport where he landed at approximately midnight. After bringing the aircraft to a stop, Brunet attempted to flee on foot, but was apprehended on the tarmac by the Texas Department of Public Safety Air Unit. Authorities recovered a total of 15 duffle bags filled with vacuum-sealed packages of marijuana along with approximately $6,000 in U.S. Currency.

 

Upon conviction, Brunet faces between five and 40 years in federal prison. He remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for 2:15pm on Thursday in Austin before United States Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin.

 

This investigation is being conducted by HSI together with assistance from CBP AMOC, Texas Department of Public Safety Air Unit and the Llano County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Devlin is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.

 

A criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated March 20, 2017