Crime

He owns Smuggler’s Inn on the U.S.-Canada border. Now Canada has arrested him

Bob Boulé, owner and innkeeper of the Smuggler’s Inn Bed and Breakfast, stands in front the main house of his Blaine business in 2008. Boulé was charged in British Columbia for reportedly attempting to help seven people illegally cross the border into Canada.
Bob Boulé, owner and innkeeper of the Smuggler’s Inn Bed and Breakfast, stands in front the main house of his Blaine business in 2008. Boulé was charged in British Columbia for reportedly attempting to help seven people illegally cross the border into Canada. The Bellingham Herald file

UPDATE: Smuggler’s Inn owner awaiting bail decision in Canadian jail.

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The owner of a Blaine bed and breakfast just south of the U.S.-Canadian border was arrested and charged this week in British Columbia for reportedly attempting to help seven people illegally cross the border into Canada, according to a story published Tuesday by the CBC.

Robert Joseph Boulé, who owns the Smugglers Inn and has property adjacent to the Canadian border, faces 21 charges in Surrey Provincial Court stemming from offenses that occurred between May 2018 and March 2019, according to court records.

The records show that 12 of the charges brought against Boulé were for breach of court orders, seven were for attempting to counsel a person to commit a crime and the remaining two were for organizing illegal entry into Canada.

A Peace Arch News story Tuesday stated several of the charges were made under Canada’s Immigration and Refuge Protection Act.

Boulé is still in custody in Canada, according to court records, and is scheduled to appear in court again Wednesday morning, April 10.

Boulé is believed to have tried to help seven people enter Canada illegally, according to the CBC story, though the story said it was unclear if any of the seven were actually successful.

In a 2017 story by The Seattle Times, Boulé said he often saw people crossing the border, though he said at the time he didn’t help them cross and that he made sure anyone who stayed at the Smugglers Inn has been legally allowed into the United States.

“At that point in time, our responsibilities have been taken care of,” Boulé told The Times.

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Canada’s ”O” Avenue runs in front of Bob Boule’s Smuggler’s Inn Bed and Breakfast in Blaine. Boule was charged in British Columbia for reportedly attempting to help seven people illegally cross the border into Canada. Staff The Bellingham Herald file

In 2012, Boulé told The Bellingham Herald that approximately 60 people per year are arrested going through the Smuggler’s Inn yard after a Canadian woman, who was arrested at the Inn in December of 2011 with a vanity plate that read “SMUGLER” on her car, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle to conspiracy and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

In 2014, Boulé announced that he would offer tours of the recreational and medical sides of the marijuana industry in Whatcom County for guests at the inn in his 38-foot stretch limo.

“It’s not a party type situation at all,” Boulé told The Herald at the time. “What we’re trying to do is get people who are interested, who have a need to learn more. We’re stressing the educational part.”

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
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