Crime

He reportedly helped 7 try to cross illegally into Canada — now he’s stuck there

Robert Boule stands outside his Smuggler’s Inn Bed and Breakfast with his ’87 Cadillac stretch limousine in February 2004. After reportedly helping at least seven people cross the border illegally into Canada, Boule will have to wait for a decision on bail for two weeks in a Canadian jail.
Robert Boule stands outside his Smuggler’s Inn Bed and Breakfast with his ’87 Cadillac stretch limousine in February 2004. After reportedly helping at least seven people cross the border illegally into Canada, Boule will have to wait for a decision on bail for two weeks in a Canadian jail. The Bellingham Herald file

After reportedly helping at least seven people cross the border illegally into Canada, the owner of the Smuggler’s Inn Bed and Breakfast in Blaine will have to wait for a decision on bail for the next two weeks in a Canadian jail.

According to a CTV Vancouver story published Wednesday, Robert Joseph Boulé appeared in court Wednesday, wearing a red prison sweatshirt and leg shackles. Boulé, who did not speak in court, learned that a judge will take until April 25 to consider whether Boulé should be released on bail.

Boulé, who owns the Smugglers Inn and has property adjacent to the Canadian border at on Canada View Drive, 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.

Boulé’s longtime friend and lawyer in the U.S., Greg Boos, was in court, according to the CTV story, and said “Bob has a heart of gold. When someone has a disaster in the (community), Bob is the first one to hold a fundraiser for them.”

Boos also told CTV that Boulé was arrested last week while in Canada reporting to his bail officer relating to other charges.

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”O” Avenue that runs in front of Bob Boule’s Smuggler’s Inn Bed and Breakfast, shown in 2003, in Blaine is in Canada, as is about five feet off his front lawn. Staff The Bellingham Herald file

According to a Surrey Now-Leader story that was updated Wednesday, Boulé is facing an additional nine charges stretching back to April of 2016. Among the 30 total charges, the Now-Leader reported, were 16 counts of counseling offenses for inducing, aiding or abetting people to illegally attempt entry into British Columbia.

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.

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.

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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