Owner of Blaine's 'Smuggler's Inn' accused of trying to help people cross into Canada illegally

BLAINE, Wash. — A Blaine man who’s the owner of a bed and breakfast called the Smuggler’s Inn is charged with trying to help people cross into Canada illegally.

Inn owner Robert Boule is facing 21 counts from alleged crimes that happened between May 2018 and March 2019, according to court records.

Boule was arrested and charged this week with attempting to help seven people, according to CBC.

Neighbors in Blaine told KIRO 7 they often see people illegally crossing the border.

Mike Lucas is one of those neighbors. He says he's seen hundreds of people try to cross the border illegally over the dozen years he's lived there, including people in wheelchairs and people carrying babies on their backs.

Lucas and his wife are the nearest neighbors to the Smuggler's Inn, and they are about 200 yards away.  They said while they see people crossing illegally, there's no way to know if they came from Boule’s inn.

"Like you’re visiting the (inn) here and breakfast time is at 7 a.m.,  well, at 6 a.m. (people) get up and walk through my backyard and across the border, and I'll get up and all of a sudden (they’re) gone, and so I've heard Boule say, ‘Hey, they check in and all of a sudden they're gone and I don't know where they went,’” said Lucas.

But authorities in Canada believe Boule knows more than he's letting on.

Boule appeared in court in Surrey Wednesday. His inn in Blaine is currently closed.

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