Possibly overdosing man found in boat with 28 meth jugs off Oregon, prosecutors say

A Canadian man was arrested this week after he was caught in a sailboat off the Oregon coast with 28 jugs of liquid methamphetamine, according to federal prosecutors.

Coast Guard officers were doing a routine patrol Tuesday when they encountered John Stirling’s sailboat, which is named the Mandalay and has a home port of Seattle, the U.S. Attorney for Oregon said in a news release on Thursday. The boat was heading north about 225 nautical miles from Newport, Oregon.

Stirling, 65, went below deck when officers tried talking to him and would only communicate using VHF radio, according to prosecutors. Officers went aboard the boat and found Stirling there alone, saying he didn’t have documents for the ship and that he wouldn’t give officers his identification, prosecutors said.

As Stirling was questioned more, his “speech began to deteriorate and he displayed signs of a possible drug overdose,” so he was given first aid and taken by helicopter to Astoria, Oregon, for treatment, the news release said.

A search of the boat revealed the many seven-gallon jugs of liquid drugs, prosecutors said.

In a criminal complaint filed Thursday in federal court, Stirling is accused of illegally having and intending to distribute the drugs from a U.S.-flagged ship, according to prosecutors.

He appeared in court Thursday and was ordered to remain in custody, prosecutors said.

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