Five-year sentence for Independence man who bit officer and tried to swallow meth

An Independence man who bit an officer and tried to swallow packages of methamphetamine while trying to elude authorities received a five-year federal prison sentence Thursday.

Robert J. Lingle, 43, had pleaded guilty in January to possessing five grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, as well as to assaulting a federal law enforcement officer.

He admitted that he agreed to sell methamphetamine to a source who was cooperating in a law enforcement investigation.

When officers approached Lingle during the sale, he fled. During the ensuing foot chase, Lingle removed a loaded revolver from his pants. When officers ordered Lingle to drop the weapon, Lingle did so, yet continued to run.

An officer grabbed Lingle and a struggle followed. Lingle attempted to eat the plastic bags of methamphetamine, but the officer was able to remove the narcotics from Lingle’s mouth and toss them aside.

Lingle then grabbed the officer’s arm and intentionally bit him on the hand, breaking skin and drawing blood, according to a court press release.

He will serve five years without the possibility of parole, according to the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips.