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Canadian drug trafficker to face charges in PH before deportation

By: Jerry S. Tan

Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco said that arrested Canadian fugitive Thomas Gordon O’Quinn needs to face possible local charges against him before he can be deported.

O’Quinn, who uses the alias James Martin, 38-years-old, was arrested last May 16 in Bgy. Maitim II, Tagaytay City in a joint operations of the BI’s fugitive search unit (FSU) headed by Rendel Ryan Sy and Regional Intelligence Division of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), PRO4A, the Tagaytay City Police Station.

The said alien is considered a big-time druglord and is wanted by the interpol for cases filed against him in the US.

It was learned that O’Quinn is also subject of an Interpol red notice after a US district court in Western Washington released a warrant for his arrest.

He was reportedly charged before the said court with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute the illegal substance called methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) and five kilograms or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine.

An additional charge of conspiracy to export from the US five kilograms of cocaine was also filed against him in the same court.

O’Quinn allegedly committed the offenses from August 2014 and June 2015 during which time he and his cohorts facilitated the export and import of illegal drugs from Canada to the US and vice-versa.

If found guilty, O’Quinn could be sentenced to a maximum of life imprisonment under the US penal code.

In the Philippines, O’Quinn faces charges of violation of Section 11 (Illegal Possession), Article II of R.A. 9165, and Article 178 (Using Fictitious Name and Concealing True Name) of the Revised Penal Code.

Reports from the NCRPO state that the cases have been filed through inquest proceedings at the Office of the Prosecutor, Department of Justice in Manila City.

The Canadian man has been tagged by local authorities as a major suspect for his alleged involvement in the case of the 1.4 tons of illegal drugs seized by authorities inside a vehicle in Batangas last month.

It was reported that during his arrest, the immigration and police operatives seized from O’Quinn’s several sachets of shabu and 14 identification cards with fictitious names.

“He has to stand trial and face his crimes locally, before we deport him so he can again stand trial for the crimes he committed abroad,” said Tansingco.

He believes that the coordination of local law enforcement agencies and the BI which resulted in O’Quinn’s arrest disrupted the operations of a major criminal gang that attempts to conduct drug operations in the Philippines.

“This is a major accomplishment of all agencies involved. It serves as a warning to syndicates that might be attempting to initiate illegal operations here in the Philippines. Your crimes will not go unpunished,” he warned.

The suspect will remain in the custody of local law enforcement agencies until the resolution of his court cases.


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