BI agents nab American fugitive in Dagupan

AN American fugitive was nabbed by elements of Bureau of Immigration (BI) Fugitive Search Unit on January 20 in Dagupan City on the strength of an arrest warrant issued by a United States district court in Eastern California for violating the conditions of his release and fleeing to the Philippines.

It was a report from Manila media that said Larry John St. Clair was nabbed here.

The arrest did not involve the local office which did not have any record of registration of an American wanted by authorities in California for parole violation.

Gilbert Lopez, BI’s Pangasinan Bureau Chief, said there is no record of registration in their office of arrested suspect Larry John St. Clair either as immigrant or non-immigrant.

“It’s possible that he is not from here but is temporarily residing in another place in the Philippines but when BI agents in Manila made their operation, he was spotted here,” Lopez said.

He added he was not aware of St. Clair’s arrest as there are instances when the US intelligence operatives coordinate directly with BI Manila to avoid possible leakage of information.

The report quoted Commissioner Jaime Morente as saying that St. Clair is the first 2018 casualty of their relentless campaign to flush out wanted foreign criminals using the Philippines as a sanctuary to evade prosecution and sentence for their crimes,

St. Clair will be deported for being an undocumented alien due to the revocation of his passport by the US government.

He was reportedly hiding in the Philippines since June 2015 or four years after the California court approved his petition for supervised release.

The US Embassy said St. Clair was convicted by the California court in 2009 for possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, manufacture of 100 marijuana plants, and possession and transportation of stolen explosives.

But the court canceled his probation few months after his release when authorities reported that he continued to engage in criminal acts like stealing.

St. Clair was also reportedly the subject of a blacklist order issued by the BI for possession of counterfeit visa extension stamps.

“He was sentenced to 64 months in prison but became eligible for parole after serving his term for 36 months,” the BI report added.  (Eva Visperas)

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