BREWSTER COUNTY - Homeland security officers are still trying to determine why three Ukrainian men crossed the Texas/Mexico border and wound up in Brewster County. CBS 7 visited with the sheriff Monday afternoon who says they had quite a time trying to catch these men.
The Sheriff Deputies searched for the men for hours, calling in for assistance from a DPS helicopter and even horses to track one of the men down. Even after talking with the men, it was evidence found on one of their cell phones that really tells their story.
"Pictures indicate that they got into a ranch house, pictures on the iPhone and video on the iPhone indicate that they did cross the Rio Grande on foot and they document that much. Then right after that, there is a picture of them inside that ranch house,” said Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson.
Because the case is still under investigation Sheriff Dodson isn't able to show the pictures and video but says there are additional pictures of the three men partying in Cozumel and touring Mexico.
"Yeah, they were kind of documenting and having a good time,” said Dodson.
That is, until they crossed the border. For three days the men, posing as tourists, walked across the rough terrain in Brewster County where they got lost, forcing them to ask a local rancher for some directions and a call for help, however once the rancher mentioned the sheriff's office, the men took off on foot.
"It's not every day that we find Ukrainians, most illegal aliens we catch are pretty poor and frail. These guys were trained, I mean they were stout," said Dodson.
The men we're trying to call a friend who was staying at a Best Western in Alpine with plans of taking them to Seattle, Washington.
"He was at least here to pick them up, there was an arrangement made. It wasn't just coincidental that he shows up at the time that they did, but they never made connection with him and he’s gone," said Dodson.
The officers were not able to apprehend the man who was their getaway, however state charges are pending for the three men for trespassing, fleeing from police, and burglary.