A 66-year-old B.C. man has been sentenced to more than three years in a U.S. penitentiary after getting caught while attempting to smuggle 750 litres of liquid methamphetamine by boat off the coast of Oregon.
John Phillip Stirling, 66, received his sentence inside a U.S. courtroom on Thursday (May 21) after pleading guilty last year to possession-related charges.
In April 2019, Stirling was arrested by U.S. Coast Guard personnel after they spotted a Washington State-registered vessel near Newport, Ore.
Officials tried to communicate, but Stirling would only use the on board radio from inside the vessel and wouldn’t come out.
They boarded the boat, named Mandalay. Stirling, the only person on board, was allegedly showing signs of an overdose, such as “deteriorating speech.” He was taken by helicopter to Astoria, Ore., for medical treatment.
Authorities found 28 jugs each filled with roughly 26 litres of liquid methamphetamine on the boat, as well as a duffel bag containing several plastic-wrapped bricks of pentobarbital – a drug used for animal euthanasia.
This isn’t the first time Stirling has landed himself in prison over the border. In 2013, he was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in U.S. federal prison after being caught in 2011 captaining a boat in the Caribbean Sea near Colombia. Roughly 400 kilograms of cocaine was found on board.
After serving his time, Stirling returned to Canada.
After pleading guilty in 2019 to his most recent crime, the 65-year-old filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Bureau of Prisons claiming that he was not protected enough while in custody from contracting the contagious COVID-19. He has also filed a second lawsuit seeking $30 million from the Chinese government, claiming they caused the virus.
Claims in either of these lawsuits have been proven in court.
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