Canadian pleads guilty to drug charge after arrest off the coast

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.

The Astorian

Shipwreck conference comes to Astoria

The Columbia River Maritime Museum and Maritime Archaeological Society will host the 2020 Columbia River Shipwreck Conference on Feb. 8 in Astoria.

A variety of speakers will present on shipwreck research and discoveries from the Pacific Northwest and around the world. The afternoon session will cover local and Spanish shipwrecks, and the quest to discover whether Francis Drake landed on the Oregon Coast.

James Delgado, an internationally known maritime archaeologist, will discuss the final frontier of maritime archaeology in the extreme deep.

The first presentation begins at 10 a.m at the maritime museum. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased online on the museum’s website.

County accepting applicants for human services panel

Clatsop County is accepting applications for open seats for two-year terms on the Human Services Advisory Council.

The council advises the Board of Commissioners on developmental disabilities, mental health and alcohol and drug abuse services.

The council meets the first Thursday of each month from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., where they identify needs, establish priorities for publicly funded services and assist in selecting and evaluating service providers.

Applications are available at the county manager’s office at 800 Exchange St., Suite 410 in Astoria or on the county’s website.

Appointments will be made by the Board of Commissioners.

The Astorian

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