The alleged leader of a Jefferson County-based crystal meth and heroin conspiracy, Andy “Ace” Warren, has been compromised by one of his five codefendants, according to federal court documents.

A plea agreement filed by Josh Shoemake, the No. 4 defendant, indicates that Shoemake sold crystal meth to Warren during the conspiracy. Questions about Shoemake’s guilt ended on June 26, 2019 when Pigeon Forge police officers stopped him for texting while driving.

In a locked safe found in the back seat, authorities found 116 grams of crystal meth.

Shoemake will plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, an offense that normally means a minimum-mandatory 10-year prison term.

The other defendants in the case are Randy Eugene Warrant, Esther Pridemore, Michelle Cherie Sinclair Elvir and Thomas “Miami” Mackley. They have until June 30 to decide if they want to plead guilty or go to trial.

“Ace” Warren and Pridemore allegedly were holding 5 grams of crystal meth, 2 grams of heroin when they were taken into custody in Dandridge in March 2019. Authorities also seized a .40-caliber Glock pistol at that time. Elvir allegedly had 66 grams of meth when she was arrested in December 2019, according to court records.

The lead defendant was the No. 1 target when the Fourth Judicial District Drug Task Force began the investigation in October 2017, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan S. Kirk.