Canadian national involved in Alitagtag drug haul indicted with drug charges

Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
Canadian national involved in Alitagtag drug haul indicted with drug charges
Canadian drug suspect Thomas Gordon O’Quinn is escorted by police at Camp Crame.
The STAR / Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) said that it recommended the filing of charges against the Canadian national who was implicated in a drug haul in Alitagtag, Batangas.

In a press release on Wednesday, the Justice department said that it filed charges of possession of illegal drugs and use of fictitious names against Thomas Gordon O’Quinn, who also goes by the name James Toby Martin.

O’Quinn was arrested on May 16 at a spa in Tagaytay City, following a mission order from the Bureau of Immigration prompted by an Interpol red notice.


The Tagaytay arrest followed the Alitagtag drug bust on April 15, 2024, where authorities seized 1.4 tons of crystal meth.

According to the DOJ, drugs and several identification cards under different names with the same facial photographs were seized during O’Quinn’s arrest. 

Last week, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said that the evidence collected are "multiple types of narcotics, sophisticated electronic device and numerous identification documents".

The evidence seized indicate his intention to elude detection, according to the PNP.

Regarding the Alitagtag drug haul, the DOJ said that O’Quinn will undergo a case build-up and preliminary investigation to “determine his particular participation and the involvement” in the case.

It can be recalled that the illegal drugs were discovered when authorities stopped a passenger van at a checkpoint in Barangay Pinagkurusan, Alitagtag.

The driver named Michael Ajalon was arrested and tons of shabu were seized.

In a press conference on Monday, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos said that O’Quinn has a “big role” in the transport of drugs.

“So far ang masasabi ko lang malaki ang parte ng tao na ito, nahuli siya meron siyang red notice, nakasuhan siya sa ibang bagay pa nakita sa kanya during the serving of the warrant,” Abalos said in a Monday press briefing.

(So far, all I can say is that this person plays a significant role. He was arrested with a red notice, and he was charged with other offenses discovered during the serving of the warrant.)

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