American fugitive falls in Pangasinan


MANILA — An overstaying American national convicted of illegal drugs and gun possession who is wanted by authorities in California for parole violation was apprehended by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) fugitive search unit (FSU) in Pangasinan province last week.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente identified the foreigner as Larry John St. Clair, 45, who was arrested in Dagupan City last January 20.

St. Clair’s arrest was the first apprehension of a foreign fugitive this year.

He added that the American, an ex-convict out on probation, was issued an arrest warrant by a US district court in eastern California for violating the conditions of his release and fleeing to the Philippines.

“He (St. Clair) is the first 2018 casualty of our relentless campaign to flush out wanted foreign criminals using the Philippines as a sanctuary to evade prosecution and sentence for their crimes,” the BI chief said in a statement Wednesday.

Morente said that aside from being a fugitive who poses a risk to public safety and security, St. Clair would also be deported for being an undocumented alien, which stemmed from the revocation of his passport by the US government.

On the other hand, FSU chief Bobby Raquepo disclosed that St. Clair had been hiding in the country since June 2015 or four years after the California court approved his petition for supervised release.

However, the court cancelled his probation a few months after his release when authorities reported that he continued to engage in criminal acts, such as grand theft of several properties and stealing the dog of a neighbor.

“He was also the subject of a blacklist order issued by the BI for possession of counterfeit visa extension stamps,” the BI intelligence officer said.

Information provided by the US embassy also revealed that in 2009, the California court convicted St. Clair of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, manufacture of 100 marijuana plants, and possession and transportation of stolen explosives.

He was sentenced to 64 months in prison but became eligible for parole after serving his term for 36 months.