Canadian sailor found with 742 litres of liquid meth off Oregon coast pleads guilty to drug charge

A 65-year-old Canadian found having a “possible drug overdose” aboard a sailboat loaded with jugs of liquid methamphetamine last spring has pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge.

Prosecutors will recommend John Phillip Stirling serve a little over seven years in prison as part of a plea agreement, the U.S. Attorney for Oregon said.

Stirling also agreed to forfeit the sailboat. Stirling pleaded guilty Monday to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine under the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act.

Stirling displayed signs of an overdose when U.S. Coast Guard personnel boarded his boat about 415 kilometres off Newport, Ore., on April 9, 2019.

While Stirling was being questioned, “his speech began to deteriorate,” a statement read.

Stirling was evacuated by helicopter for medical treatment. The statement said coast guard personnel searched his boat, the U.S.-registered Mandalay, and found 28 seven-gallon (26.5-litre) jugs with liquid methamphetamine inside.

Members of the Coast Guard administered medical aid before he was evacuated by helicopter to Astoria, Ore., and then Portland for medical treatment.