Coastside fisherman Duncan MacLean’s year has not been a good one so far.
Just weeks after standing alongside U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, for the traditional blessing of the salmon fleet at Pillar Point in late April, MacLean, 62, reportedly fell asleep at the helm of his boat the "Barbara Faye” after fishing for two straight days and crashed it in May at a beach in Marin County.
Then on Friday, MacLean was stopped by a San Mateo County sheriff’s deputy for a broken taillight at about 1 a.m. The deputy suspected MacLean was under the influence of drugs and arrested him.
The deputy then searched MacLean and found a small bag of methamphetamine and a smoking pipe in his pants pockets, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.
MacLean has pleaded not guilty to three misdemeanor charges and hired a private attorney just before his pretrial conference in Superior Court in Redwood City yesterday morning.
He had been assigned a private defender after posting a $7,500 bail but hired Phillip Barnett as his private attorney yesterday.
Barnett’s first action as MacLean’s attorney was to push back the pretrial conference to a date in September or October, he told the Daily Journal yesterday.
MacLean allegedly told investigators he has used methamphetamine for years for pain relief because of a bad back.
The District Attorney’s Office has determined MacLean is eligible for Proposition 36 treatment.
The charges he faces are possession of methamphetamine, being under the influence of a controlled substance and possessing drug paraphernalia, all misdemeanors.
MacLean is a prominent fisherman on the coast having served as president of the Half Moon Bay Fisherman’s Marketing Association and as an adviser for the Pacific Fishery Management Council and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association.
After crashing the "Barbara Faye” in May, the U.S. Coast Guard told him he needed to get tested for drugs and alcohol and had 30 hours to get the test done. The Daily Journal could not determine yesterday whether MacLean took a drug test or what the results were.
Bill Silverfarb can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 106.