A Canadian man pleaded guilty in federal court in Portland on Monday to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
During a routine patrol in April, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alert detected a vessel, named Mandalay, off the coast of Newport.
When they made contact with John Philip Stirling, 65, the vessel's sole occupant, he said he did not have vessel documentation and refused to show identification. According to court documents, Stirling’s speech began to deteriorate and he showed signs of a possible drug overdose.
Coast Guard personnel administered medical aid and evacuated him by helicopter to Astoria. He was later taken by ambulance to a Portland hospital.
The Coast Guard searched the Mandalay and found 28 seven-gallon jugs containing liquid methamphetamine.
Stirling can face a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10 million fine. Following the plea agreement, the government will recommend Stirling be sentenced to more than seven years in prison.
As part of the plea agreement, Stirling agreed to forfeit the Mandalay.