SALT LAKE CITY — A driver high on methamphetamine who rammed into a federal agent's vehicle while attempting to elude authorities last summer will go to prison.

A U.S. District judge sentenced Shawn L. Cloward to 27 months behind bars followed by 36 months of supervised release.

Cloward earlier pleaded guilty to assault on a federal officer.

Officers were attempting to arrest Cloward on a number of outstanding warrants Aug. 12, 2010, when he pulled into a cul-de-sac, turned around, crashed into a U.S. marshal vehicle and then tried to ram another. Cloward's Jeep Cherokee nearly hit a number of other police vehicles before colliding with a Unified police truck, which caused the Jeep's rear tire to come off.

When officers finally handcuffed Cloward, they found a backpack containing a 9mm handgun inside.

"I let drugs spin my life out of control," he told Judge Ted Stewart.

Cloward, 31, said he began using drugs heavily after his father committed suicide. He also became hooked on opiates after injuring his back in a car accident. He said he has been sober since being incarcerated.

"It's nice to see from a clear perspective of what life can be," he said, adding he wants to redeem himself and be a good father to his children.

Stewart agreed to recommend Cloward attend a drug treatment program while in prison. "In the end, the question of what you're going to do with the rest of your life is, frankly, up to you," Stewart said.

— Dennis Romboy