Okay, this is pretty crazy. Yes, you read the headline correctly: 90 year old cocaine mule and ww2 vet sentenced to 3 years in prison.
Leo Sharp, who is a decorated World War II combat veteran and who turned 90 on Wednesday, is also a confessed drug mule. After admitting that he helped a Mexican drug cartel as a cocaine courier was sentenced on his 90th birthday to three years in federal prison as well as to three years supervised release by Judge Nancy Edmunds in U.S. District Court in Detroit.
Before being sentenced, Mr. Sharp told Judge Edwards, “All I can tell you, your honor, is that I’m really heartbroken that I did what I did. But it’s done.”
After receiving his sentence, Mr. Sharp turned to prosecutors and called the three-year prison term a “death sentence.”
Attorneys for Mr. Sharp requested supervised release or home confinement, due to the fact that their client suffers from dementia as well as other health conditions and states that he requires 24-hour monitoring.
However, prosecutors said that Sharp had managed to avoid detection for a decade in part because of his age and was now trying to use his age to protect himself from being punished.
Judge Edmunds dismissed both suggestions, saying that any effort to blame Sharp’s actions on age and dementia was “an insult to all the people who struggle with dementia and don’t become involved in illegal activity.”
Last October, Mr. Sharp had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute cocaine as per an agreement he made with prosecutors that included a recommendation for a prison sentence of five years.
Back in October of 2011, Mr. Sharp was pulled over by police who observed him driving erratically on an interstate highway in Michigan. Once stopped, police ultimately found 104 bricks of cocaine in his truck.
According to prosecutors, Mr. Sharp transported 2,755 pounds of cocaine from the southwest United States into Michigan spread over the course of 8 months during which he made 6 trips. From February 2010 until his arrest in October 2011, Mr. Sharp earned $1,000 per kilogram of cocaine he successfully transported.
Also according to the prosecutors, Mr. Sharp hauled more than cocaine – he also hauled duffle bags stuffed with cash back to the U.S. southwest border with Mexico. He was working for the infamous criminal organization known as Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, prosecutors said.
Judge Edmunds made no bones about Mr. Sharp’s involvement, saying that he was in the middle of the drug conspiracy. She added that, “This is not a victimless crime,” Edmunds said. “This is a very serious offense.”
There would have been a mandatory 10-year minimum sentence but, because of Mr. Sharp’s plea agreement and reduced charge allowed him to avoid the stiffer penalty. Also as a part of the agreement, he agreed to forfeit two properties in Florida and $500,000 cash. He will be able to keep his home and farm in Michigan City, Indiana.
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