Gerry K. Buchenau, 36, of Independence, was sentenced Monday to 20 years in federal prison without parole by U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs after Buchenau pleaded guilty Aug. 11 to possessing 50 grams or more of pure methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.


According to court documents, Buchenau was arrested on July 3, 2007, after an Independence police officer observed his vehicle swerve back and forth across the highway. The officer followed Buchenau until he stopped in his driveway, where he exited the vehicle and began running through the yard.


Documents state when Buchenau reappeared from behind the house, the officer ordered him to lie down on the ground. A pipe fell out of Buchenau’s pocket. At the corner of the house, the officer found a small backpack with eight baggies containing methamphetamine. While searching Buchenau’s vehicle, the officer found a Crown Royal bag containing glass pipes and more baggies containing methamphetamine. More than 180.74 grams of methamphetamine were recovered, documents state.