Lynden man gets prison for driving truck at border agents

A Lynden man was sentenced Monday, Jan. 25, to eight months in prison for driving his truck at three U.S. Border Patrol agents in July.

Seattle U.S. District Court Judge James L. Robart also sentenced Wayne Groen to four months of home detention and 50 hours of community service, as well as fining him $10,000 for assaulting the federal officers.

The officers weren’t hurt in the incident.

Robart said what Groen, 46, did was “deeply disturbing” and “extremely dangerous, extremely stupid and extremely filled with the potential for dangerous harm to others,” according to a U.S. Department of Justice release.

This isn’t Groen’s first conflict with border officials.

He was sentenced in 2011 to two months in prison for shining a spotlight on a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter patrolling over his home, temporarily blinding the pilot.

Even after that conviction, federal officials said Groen didn’t change his behavior.

In the July incident, Groen got into his truck solely to try to run the three agents working near his property off the road, according to the Department of Justice.

Driving at high speed, Groen swerved toward two agents on one side of the road, then swerved toward a third agent on the other side of the road.

All three were able to jump out of the way, officials said.

His wife told the Associated Press in August that the Border Patrol agents were putting up a camera across the road from their house and he sped past them because he was just trying to get out of there.

She said then that the agency was picking on them.

Groen has been at the SeaTac Federal Detention Center since his assault arrest in August, and will likely serve the remainder of his prison term there.

He has apologized to the U.S. Border Patrol for his behavior, the Justice Department said.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea