The deportation of the apprehended Canadian linked to a Php 9.68 billion worth of illegal drugs intercepted in Alitagtag, Batangas last April, cannot be immediately carried out.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) stated that Thomas Gordon O'Quinn, aged 38, will remain under the custody of local law enforcement agencies as he goes on trial for his charges in the Philippines.

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O'Quinn, who also goes by the alias James Martin, was arrested on May 16, 2024, in Barangay Maitim II, Tagaytay City, where he was found in possession of illegal drugs, counterfeit identification cards, and other documents.

O'Quinn is wanted in the United States for conspiracy to distribute the seized illegal drug known as methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) and five or more kilograms of a mixed drug that includes cocaine.

He also faces charges of conspiracy to export five kilograms of cocaine from the US.

It is alleged that O'Quinn committed these crimes between August 2014 and June 2015, during which time he and his associates trafficked illegal drugs from Canada to the US and back to Canada.

If proven guilty, O'Quinn could face a life sentence under the US Penal Code.

In the Philippines, O'Quinn faces charges of violating Section 11 (Illegal Possession) of Republic Act 9165, and Article 178 (Using Fictitious Name and Concealing True Name) of the Revised Penal Code.

These charges have been filed with the Office of the Prosecutor of the Department of Justice in Manila.

O'Quinn is also alleged to be involved in the 1.4-ton illegal drug haul intercepted by the police in Batangas after being tipped off by the driver of the van carrying the illicit substances.

"He has to stand trial and face his crimes locally, before we deport him so he can again strand trial for the crimes he committed abroad," said BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco.

(Photo from the Bureau of Immigration)