No additional jail time for Smuggler's Inn owner guilty of helping people illegally enter Canada

·1 min read
The Smuggler's Inn sits metres away from the U.S.-Canada border.  (Google Street View - image credit)
The Smuggler's Inn sits metres away from the U.S.-Canada border. (Google Street View - image credit)

A Washington state man who pleaded guilty to helping seven people try to enter Canada illegally will face no additional jail time.

Robert Joseph Boulé — owner of the Smuggler's Inn, a bed and breakfast in the border town of Blaine, Wash. — was sentenced to time served and probation in a B.C. court Friday.

Boulé pleaded guilty in August to two charges under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act stemming from incidents that took place between May 2018 and March 2019.

Prosecutors had sought a jail term of 12 to 15 months.

Cliff Shim/CBC
Cliff Shim/CBC

The Smuggler's Inn has been featured in several news stories over the years, some of which focused on issues related to the inn's proximity to the border, such as drug smuggling and crossing the border illegally.

Boulé, a well-known figure in the small town, told CBC News in 2017 how common it was to see people sneaking across the border at night using night-vision goggles.

Take a look inside the Smuggler's Inn:

He played up the smuggling theme at his bed and breakfast, located near the U.S.-Canada border, by naming each room after a famous criminal. His property was nicknamed the "No-tell Hotel" in Canadian Geographic in 2010, in homage to its proximity to the border.

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