B.C. woman pleads guilty in Blaine smuggling case

Published on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

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One of three Canadian citizens has pleaded guilty to drug smuggling charges after being arrested near the Smuggler’s Inn last December.

Jasmin Klair pleaded guilty to possession and conspiracy to distribute cocaine in federal district court in Seattle on February 27. The charges stem from Klair’s arrest on December 15 last year after admitting she tried to smuggle about 23 pounds of cocaine across the U.S./Canadian border.

Klair has yet to be sentenced. Klair’s two accomplices in the attempted smuggling, Canadian citizens Gurjit Singh Sandhu and Narminder Kaler, have not yet entered a plea.

At about 8 p.m. on December 15, customs and border protection agents saw a black GMC Yukon arrive at the Smuggler’s Inn, which is less than 100 feet from the border. Bob Boule, owner of the inn, was driving the SUV with Klair and a guest at the inn in the vehicle.

“Klair is a Canadian citizen, and she appeared to be very nervous and agitated when I asked her basic questions about her identity,” homeland security special agent Joshua Barnett said. “I asked her if the large, white box located in the back of the Yukon belonged to her. Initially, Klair stated the box was not hers.”

Law enforcement agents had received a tip that smuggling activity would likely be taking place near the Smuggler’s Inn on the night in question. After Klair was taken into custody, she told law enforcement agents she had made an agreement to help Sandhu and Kaler smuggle the cocaine across the border in exchange for $4,000.

Customs and border protection agents arrested Sandhu and Kaler around 11:45 that night after they illegally crossed the border to pick up the cocaine. After being read his rights, Kaler told agents he was going to receive $2,000 for the contents of the box once he was back in Canada. Kaler said he needed the money to pay off a $325,000 debt incurred after losing a 115-pound loaf of cocaine a year and a half ago.