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Santa Barbara County seeks to extradite actor Randy Quaid, wife on warrants

Santa Barbara County seeks to extradite actor Randy Quaid, wife on warrants
Actor Randy Quaid arrives at his Immigration and Refugee Board hearing in Montreal on Thursday. (Peter McCabe / Associated Press)

Actor Randy Quaid could soon find himself in a Santa Barbara County courtroom to face vandalism and trespassing charges after he was arrested last week in Canada and again days later as he tried to re-enter the United States.

Randy Quaid and his wife, Evi Quaid, were stopped at 6:12 p.m. Friday after crossing the Canadian border into Vermont in West Berkshire, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. After Customs officers ran a records check on the couple and discovered the warrants, they were taken into custody and turned over to Vermont State Police.

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The Quaids appeared separately Monday in Vermont court. Randy Quaid was held on $500,000 bail on suspicion of being a fugitive from justice, according to the Associated Press.

His arraignment was postponed because California courts were closed for Columbus Day and paperwork was needed. His wife pleaded not guilty to a fugitive charge and was also held on $500,000 bail.

The couple face charges in Santa Barbara County related to trespassing, felony vandalism and failure to appear in court, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

"If Mr. and Mrs. Quaid are ordered to remain in custody pending release back to California, the sheriff's Felony Fugitives Unit will coordinate their return back to California to face their outstanding charges," the sheriff's office said.

The Quaids have been avoiding detainment after fleeing the U.S. in 2010 to reportedly escape Hollywood because they feared for their lives. The couple requested Canadian asylum that year. But Randy Quaid, 64, was turned down for citizenship due to outstanding charges in Santa Barbara County. His wife was granted citizenship because her father was born in Canada, the CBC reported.

"We are refugees ... Hollywood refugees, seeking to be left alone by the criminals in America," Evi told "Good Morning America" in an interview that aired in 2010.

The latest arrest comes days after Canada Border Services Agency officials detained Randy Quaid on Tuesday for the second time this year in Montreal, where he appeared for a regular check-in at the agency, the CBC reported. He told the AP that he could be deported from Canada this week.

Randy Quaid was arrested in May after missing a meeting with the Immigration and Refugee Board. He was required to check in regularly, but his whereabouts had been uncertain for some time.

In a YouTube video posted after his arrest Tuesday, Evi Quaid blasted the United States, President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Santa Barbara County for prosecuting them.

"What kind of ... country and State Department holds warrants for two people like this for six years, revokes their passports and ... up their lives," she said in the profane video.

The Santa Barbara County district attorney's office alleges the Quaids squatted in and damaged the guesthouse on a property they once owned. They never showed up to their arraignment hearing in 2010 and a warrant was issued.

Evi Quaid also faces a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest, the sheriff's office said.

"It has been five years since Randy and Evi Quaid are alleged to have committed crimes in Santa Barbara County," the sheriff's office said. "It is the intent of the Sheriff's Office and District Attorney's Office that Mr. and Mrs. Quaid, either voluntarily or if necessary by a warrant from the Governor of California, go through the judicial process."

Randy Quaid, who is actor Dennis Quaid's brother, is best known for his role in "Kingpin" and "National Lampoon's Vacation." He has also starred in "Brokeback Mountain" and "Independence Day."

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