Morristown resident Luis Daniel “Donnie” Martinez Patino, with the assistance of a network of underlings, was selling more than a pound of crystal meth every 32 hours before his habit got in the way, according to federal court documents.
Patino, a 28-year-old convicted felon and the No. 2 defendant in a seven-defendant conspiracy headed by James Allen Ward, has indicated he will cop to a 50-gram case, but will accept responsibility for putting more than 150 grams on the street, which normally means an enhancement above the 10-year mandatory minimum.
During a May 2019 debriefing with Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department narcotics investigators, Ward, who has already filed a plea agreement, identified Patino as one of his larger customers, according to the plea agreement.
“Ward stated that the defendant moved a lot of methamphetamine for him until (Patino) developed a serous methamphetamine addiction,” the plea agreement states.
When Patino implicated himself in February 2019 following his second arrest by HSCD narcotics investigators, the defendant reported “that he was selling 16-24 ounces every 32 hours. Defendant stated that he had several people selling for him,” his plea agreement states.
In an unrelated federal crystal-meth investigation involving Curtis P. Kinsler, a Hancock County man who bought crystal meth in Hawkins County from his mobile home on Panther Creek Road in Sneedville, will also plead guilty to a 50-gram conspiracy.
Kinsler agreed to accept a sentencing enhancement for possessing a firearm while selling methamphetamine, which represents a win for the Hancock County man. Kinsler was indicted for illegal firearm possession as a separate offense. If he had been convicted – and federal prosecutors appear to have overwhelming proof – it would have meant a consecutive five years in federal prison.
Kinsler’s first serious scrape with the law in the federal prosecution came in May 2018 when he was found passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle in the Rogersville Tractor Supply. Most of the meth confiscated that day, about a half-ounce, was in plain view in the cup holder, according to his plea agreement.
The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department continued to investigate Kinsler and identified an informant who bought meth from him on three occasions in December 2018. The cooperating witness wore a wire.