A man from British Columbia will spend time in a U.S. federal prison.
John Philip Stirling, 66, was recently sentenced to 40 months in U.S. federal prison and five years’ supervised release after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine earlier this year.
Stirling is reportedly from Vancouver Island.
According to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Oregon, on April 9, 2019, the U.S. Coast Guard stopped Stirling while he was operating a boat named the Mandalay and discovered 28 jugs containing more than “seven gallons of liquid methamphetamine each and a duffel bag containing several plastic-wrapped bricks of pentobarbital.”
The release states that the U.S. Coast Guard first spotted Stirling in international waters and that he was heading north to Canada from Mexico. He was about 416 kilometres away from the Newport, Ore., when he was first spotted by the coast guard, but at some point, according to the release, entered into U.S. jurisdiction.
Once Coast Guard personnel determined that the vessel within the jurisdiction of the U.S., officers stopped and boarded Stirling’s boat. Stirling then told officers that he did not have documentation for the boat and “refused” to produce identification.
The release states that before officers boarded the boat, Stirling “consumed a large amount of what he believed to be pure fentanyl, but was later determined to be pentobarbital” and that he was later transported by helicopter to a hospital in Astoria, Ore. He was then transferred to another hospital in Portland.
Investigators eventually determined that the drugs had been loaded onto the Mandalay from another vessel in the Sea of Cortez and were bound for Canada.
Stirling pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in January.
The U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection investigated the case, the release notes.