Canadian to face drug raps before deportation, says BI

Canadian to face drug raps before deportation, says BI

05:44 AM May 25, 2024

Canadian fugitive Thomas Gordon O’Quinn, an international drug suspect who was arrested with 127 grams of narcotics and implicated in a P9.68-billion drug bust, will have to face charges looming against him before he can be deported, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Friday.

“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,” Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said in a statement.

O’Quinn, 38, is considered a big-time drug lord wanted by the International Criminal Police Organization for cases filed against him in the United States, the BI said.


Sufficient evidence

But Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors found sufficient evidence to charge the Canadian national for violations of Section 11 of Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, for possession of dangerous drugs, and of Article 178 of the Revised Penal Code for the use of fake names.


Agents of the Philippine National Police and the BI apprehended O’Quinn at a spa in Tagaytay City on May 16 in an operation that resulted in the seizure of 45 grams of “shabu” and 81.65 grams of cocaine, along with 14 pieces of identification cards under different names but with the same facial photograph of O’Quinn.

Because of the amount of shabu and cocaine purportedly found in his possession, O’Quinn will likely not be allowed to post bail.

Possible penalties

Based on Section 11 of RA 9165, which is published on the Official Gazette website, the penalty of “life imprisonment and a fine ranging from P400,000 to P500,000” will be imposed on an individual caught with 10 grams or more but less than 50 grams of shabu.

It added “the penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from P500,000 to P10 million shall be imposed upon any person, who, unless authorized by law” caught with 10 grams or more of cocaine.

If found guilty of the drug charges, according to rules of the Supreme Court and the DOJ, O’Quinn may be sentenced to life in prison with a substantial fine. No plea bargaining is allowed.

Authorities, particularly the Department of the Interior and Local Government, had said that O’Quinn “played a big role” in the P9.68-billion drug haul in Alitagtag last month.


On April 15, a passenger van carrying the illegal contrabands was flagged down at a checkpoint in Barangay Pinagkurusan, Alitagtag, where the driver, identified as Michael Zarate Ajalon was arrested along with the seizure of the tons of shabu.

The DOJ said since O’Quinn was also implicated in the drug bust, his arrest in Tagaytay City and the seizure of drugs would be the subject of further case build-up and preliminary investigation to determine his participation and the involvement of others in the Alitagtag drug case.

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TAGS: Canadian, drug

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