Federal Judge Curtis Collier stopped court on Thursday and let Samuel Lee hug his 85-year-old father before going off to prison.
He told Lee he had opportunities, but had embarrassed his father rather than making him proud.
Lee told his father thanks and hugged him and two family members before being led away.
Judge Collier said Lee's parents were both teachers and, as their only child, they sent him to college. However, he dropped out and began selling marijuana.
The judge said, "You should have been the light of their eyes, but instead you are a burden."
In his latest arrest, a sheriff's deputy stopped Lee's car on July 20, 2011, for not wearing a seat belt. The car was searched after the officer could smell marijuana.
Inside the car were a 45 caliber Taurus pistol with two loaded magazines as well as over 1,000 grams of marijuana.
A TBI agent used a source to buy $1,200 worth of marijuana from Lee on March 5, 2013. At his home were found three pounds of marijuana, scales, a drug ledger and a marijuana grinder.
Lee got three years in prison.
In a second case, Alfred Oliver was sentenced to 27 months.
Authorities said after a narcotics investigator came after him last June 23 he pointed a gun in the direction of an officer. Two shots were fired toward Oliver, but he was not hit.
Prosecutor Chris Poole said he was "pretty lucky to be here."