20 year old Jasmin Klair wanted to be a drug-runner, now says she knew better than to get into a vehicle that had a personalized license plate with the letters SMUGGLER on it. And that she should have thought twice before booking a room at the Smuggler's Inn, a mere sprint from the Canadian border.
According to court documents (linked below) Homeland Security agents received a tip in mid-December about a cocaine deal at a Pizza Hut in Bellingham, Washington. They set up surveillance at the Pizza Hut and watched as a GMC Yukon with a driver and two passengers pulled in. Agents followed the SUV to the “Smuggler’s Inn," pulled it over and found, in a large white box, nine bricks of cocaine weighing just less than 24 pounds.
Federal records detail how Jasmin Klair admitted that the illicit cargo was hers and agreed to cooperate with law enforcement officials. She explained to agents that she had been told to book a bottom-floor room facing Canada at the Smuggler’s Inn, a bed and breakfast with rooms named "Al Capone" and "DB Cooper." Klair wanted the "Captain's Room," about 150 feet from the border.
“She appeared nervous and agitated when I asked her about her identity,” special agent Joshua Barnett wrote in the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court. While agents interviewed her, she started receiving text messages from two men, Gurjit Singh Sandhu, 24 and Narinder Kaler, 25, who had given her the job. Authorities prevailed on her to contact the two men and have them come to the Smuggler’s Inn. They arrived within minutes and made a run for it when police ordered them to stop.
Klair told agents she had only met Sandhu two weeks earlier through a friend at work. She told her 2 new friends that she would transport a package across the border in exchange for $4,000. She admitted picking up the cocaine in the parking lot of a Jack in the Box in Burlington before calling Sandhu, who is also the owner of the Smuggler’s Inn, to pick her and her illicit cargo up.
Narender Kaler, allegedly told agents that he would have received $2,000 for the deal. He said really needed it, to pay off a $325,000 debt for losing 115 pounds of marijuana a year and a half ago. Klair, 20, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to conspiring to distribute cocaine. She will be sentenced on May 29. Kaler and Gurjit Sandhu are in jail and face similar charges.
Sandhu is also the owner of the Yukon SUV with the SMUGLER vanity plates. He takes the recent events in stride. Last year, 57 people were arrested going through his property. “It’s part of life on the border, the officers go through on the hour every hour. There are sensors in the yard. We’re on camera where we live.”
End of Story....
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Smuggler PDF Court Document