By Benjamin Pulta

‘MAJOR PLAYER’. Canadian Thomas Gordon O’Quinn (standing, center) is presented to the media during a press briefing at the Philippine National Police headquarters at Camp Crame, Quezon City on Monday (May 20, 2024). O’Quinn is linked to the PHP9.6-billion shabu shipment intercepted at a checkpoint in Alitagtag, Batangas on April 15 this year. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald Alfiler)

MANILA – Justice Secretary Jesus Remulla on Wednesday directed prosecutors to earnestly pursue the prosecution of Thomas Gordon O’Quinn who is facing charges of drug possession and use of fictitious name.

The Canadian is subject of a red notice by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) for conspiracy to possess, export, and distribute illegal substances into the United States with a penalty of life imprisonment.

“We want no part of international fugitives, you may have evaded the laws of your country but not ours,” Remulla said. “Prosecute swiftly to the fullest extent of the law.”

O’Quinn, who also goes by the aliases James Toby Martin, Robert Wagner, Steve Wilson, Ryan Brooke, Steve Macdonald and Jay Macallan, was arrested last May 16 in a spa in Tagaytay City by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for being the subject of the red notice.

Seized from him were illegal drugs and several identification cards under different names with the same facial photographs.

O’Quinn is also implicated in the PHP9.6-billion shabu shipment intercepted in Alitagtag, Batangas last April 15.

In a press briefing last Monday in Camp Crame, Philippine National Police chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil said they have established the links of O’Quinn and Alajon Michael Zarate, the driver of the van carrying the intercepted contraband who was arrested at the scene.

In the same press briefing, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. described the Canadian as a “major player” in the shabu haul.

“Considering that O’Quinn was implicated in the Alitagtag drug case, this will be a subject of further case build-up and preliminary investigation to determine his particular participation and the involvement of others in the said case,” Remulla said. (PNA)