Cocke County crystal-meth dealer Daniel Joseph Sisk, a 22-year-old man whose petty crimes elevated him to the highest criminal-history category, learned a painful lesson about federal sentencing math, according to court documents.

In the three years and nine months following his eighteenth birthday, a series of convictions for nonviolent misdemeanors earned him 13 criminal-history points, the minimum number to be classified in the top category.

Sisk’s lawyer, Knoxville attorney Michael Cabage, characterized the blemishes on Sisk’s record as “what are typically seen committed by drug addicts throughout the district to feed their respective drug habits.”

Then came a 50-plus-gram, Cocke County-based crystal-meth conspiracy, which normally means 10 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Clifton L. Corker on Tuesday sentenced Sisk to 16 years – 192 months – behind bars, four months longer than the bottom-of-the-range for someone in the highest criminal-history category.

Sisk will have to serve 13.5 years before he’s eligible for supervised release.

Completing a 500-hour substance-abuse program could trim his federal prison term by one year. Corker recommended that Sisk serve his time at a federal lockup in Beckley, West Virginia.

Sisk was the No. 2 defendant in a seven-defendant conspiracy allegedly headed by Kevin Lee “San Quinton” Rosemeyer. Rosemeyer has not filed a plea agreement, but Sisk’s plea agreement profoundly implicates the alleged conspiracy leader. Sisk flipped on Rosemeyer in March 2019 after learning he had sold meth to informants on three occasions, according to his plea agreement.

“(Sisk) would buy 8-balls (3.5 grams) of methamphetamine from Rosemeyer three or four times a week during this (two-year) period,” his plea agreement states. “The defendant also advised that he would purchase methamphetamine from codefendant Patrick Hurst.”

In an unrelated, seven-defendant federal crystal-meth prosecution that originated in Jefferson County, the conspiracy leader, Andy E. “Ace” Warren, 38, indicated Thursday he will plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

Warren never had a chance to beat the charges, but he went to extraordinary lengths to make is legal problems worse after he was incarcerated in the Jefferson County jail by continuing to manage the drug-distribution operation, which included his father, Eugene Warren, from the jail phone, which is monitored, according to his plea agreement.

“(Warren) directed codefendant (Michelle Cherie Sinclair) Elvir and codefendant (Thomas “Miami”) Mackey to work together in order to supply and cell ice methamphetamine in furtherance of the conspiracy,” his plea agreement states. “(Warren) directed Elvir to go to his house, where codefendant Eugene Warren lived.

“(He) directed his father … to give an AK-style rifle and heroin that (he) had hidden in his room to Elvir,” the plea agreement further states. “The defendant directed Elvir to trade the rifle to codefendant Mackey. Mackey provided ice methamphetamine to Elvir in exchange for the rifle. Elvir then sold ice methamphetamine and heroin on behalf of the defendant.”

Prior to his arrest in May 2019, Warren sold meth to an informant on six occasions, according to the plea agreement. Barring a downward departure, Warren will start with a presumptive 15-year federal prison term. He could face one sentencing enhancement because he’s a convicted felon and another because he admitted distributing more than 150 grams of meth.