Personalized 'SMUGLER' Plates Lead to Major Drug Bust
If you are going to engage in criminal activity, you probably should not be driving around advertising your indiscretion. Sounds like a pretty simple concept. But 20-year-old, Jasmin Klair, must have missed that piece of advice somewhere along the way.
Rewind to mid-December in Blaine, Washington. According to court documents, Homeland Security was given an anonymous tip about a cocaine smuggling deal that was happening in the neighboring town of Bellingham. The towns of Blaine and Bellingham are just over the Canadian border and just minutes away from a hotel called the Smuggler's Inn Bed and Breakfast.
Apparently, Klair had been approached by two men, who offered to pay her $4,000 to carry 24 pounds of cocaine, from Canada over the border to Washington. First, Klair booked a room at the Smuggler's Inn. Then the men drove Klair to a Pizza Hut and dropped her off with the smuggled goods. Her final instructions were to call the hotel and ask for a ride to their facility.
The hotel owner, Bob Boule, drives a GMC Yukon with license plates that spell out "SMUGLER." That night, Boule drove his SUV to the Pizza Hut and unbeknownst to him, picked up a drug-smuggling hotel guest. The authorities followed them back to the hotel and pulled them over to search the vehicle. That's when they found the nine bricks of cocaine in a large white box, which appeared to look like a Christmas gift.
Klair admitted that she had been hired to smuggle the drugs across the border and agreed to cooperate with the law enforcement officials during their investigation. While she was being interrogated, the men who hired her began sending text messages to her phone. The authorities helped her coax the men to meet her at the Smuggler's Inn. Unfortunately for them, the police were waiting when they arrived.
The two men, Narminder Kaler and Gurjit Sandhu were immediately arrested. Klair pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute cocaine and will be sentenced on May 29. Kaler and Sandhu are currently in jail, awaiting trial. It is believed that they will face similar charges.
The police believe that Boule was not aware of Klair's illegal business dealings. However, the hotel owner is not surprised by this sequence of events. It appears that there has been an average of around 60 arrests per year made on the Smuggler's Inn property. This is mostly due to its location of only 30 feet away from the Canadian border. When naming his business, the owner had only meant for the name to be ironic, not encouraging.