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Three Indo-Canadians Nabbed With 11 Kg Of Cocaine In Blaine

Gurjit Singh Sandhu, 24, Narinder Kaler, 25, and 20-year-old woman Jasmin Klair were arrested at a bed and breakfast joint aptly named the Smuggler’s Inn. Jasmin Klair, who allegedly agreed to transport the “a package” across the border for $4,000, met Sandhu and an associate at a Canadian Tire store in Surrey before she picked up the cocaine in the parking lot of a Jack in the Box in Burlington on December 15. Narinder Kaler told agents that “he was to receive $2,000 from an individual named ‘G’ for the job and that he needed the money to pay off a $325,000 debt for losing a 115-pound load of marijuana about a year and a half ago.

SURREY – Three Indo-Canadians, including a 20-year-old girl, have been arrested after US authorities broke up an alleged drug smuggling operation in the cross-border town of Blain, Washington last month.

Gurjit Singh Sandhu, 24, Narinder Kaler, 25, and 20-year-old woman Jasmin Klair were arrested at a bed and breakfast joint aptly named the Smuggler’s Inn, reported the Vancouver Sun newspaper.

The accused are each facing two counts for their roles in the cocaine conspiracy and are set to be arraigned Thursday in a Seattle courtroom.

The trio were nabbed after U.S. Homeland Security agents received a tip from an informant about possible smuggling activity near the aptly named Smuggler’s Inn, located just 30 metres from the Canada-U.S. border in Blaine, according to the Sun.

Agents watched on Dec. 15 as a black GMC Yukon arrived at the inn about 8 p.m. with three people inside.

The Smuggler’s Inn owner was behind the wheel with another guest, as well as Klair, who reluctantly admitted to police that a large white box in the back of the vehicle was hers.

“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.

As she was being interviewed, Klair agreed to cooperate and allowed agents to search the box, where they found bricks of cocaine weighing a total of 10.76 kg.

“During questioning, Klair began receiving multiple text messages and phone calls from an individual she knew as Jason,” Barnett wrote.

Klair told agents she had only met Jason and a man she called Gordy, later identified as Sandhu, two weeks earlier through a friend at work.

She told her new friends she would transport a package across the border in exchange for $4,000.

Klair met Sandhu and an associate at a Canadian Tire store in Surrey before she lined up at the Peach Arch Dec. 15 about 2:50 p.m. Sandhu gave her $600 and told her to book a room at the Smuggler’s Inn, court documents said.

Klair admitted picking up the cocaine in the parking lot of a Jack in the Box in Burlington before calling the owner of the Smuggler’s Inn to pick her and her illicit cargo up.

Once under arrest, she continued to keep in touch with her associates, as agents monitored. Sandhu called about 11:40 p.m. and said someone would come to her room to pick up the box and that afterwards “she should run with them back across the border,” Barnett said.

“At about 11:45 p.m., law enforcement observed a Volkswagen Jetta driving east on O Avenue, just over the border in Canada. It slowed down in front of the Smuggler’s Inn.”

Two men ran from the car towards the inn as agents shouted “police” and ordered them to stop.

The suspects, identified as Sandhu and Kaler in court documents, made a run for it, but were caught before they crossed back into Canada.

Kaler explained to agents that “he was to receive $2,000 from an individual named ‘G’ who was driving the Jetta,” the documents said. “Kaler stated that he needed the money to pay off a $325,000 debt for losing a 115-pound load of marijuana about a year and a half ago.”

Investigations is on in the case and authorities on both sides of the border may try to build a case against the driver of the Jetta, who dropped off Sandhu and Kaler on the Canadian side before they ran across the border and were caught by US agents. He is believed to be a well known gangster in Vancouver.

All three accused pleaded not guilty in a Seattle courtroom Thursday and have been scheduled for a jury trial on March 5, 2012.

If convicted, all three face a statutory minimum 10-year sentence, as well as criminal forfeiture proceedings.

Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun

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