89-Year-Old Drug Mule Pleads Guilty

Indiana man caught with 200 pounds in Michigan

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 8, 2013 4:34 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Leo Sharp was your typical 80-something retiree, splitting time between his place in Indiana and a property in Florida where he grew his beloved lilies. And then, of course, there was the occasional cross-country drive with hundreds of pounds of cocaine for a powerful Mexican cartel. The 89-year-old pleaded guilty today to his role as a drug mule after getting pulled over near Ann Arbor in 2011 with 228 pounds of cocaine, reports the Detroit News. He's expected to get a relatively light sentence of five years at his sentencing in February.

“In my life, it’s the only time it ever happened,” Sharp told the judge of getting in trouble. But then he remembered one thing: Years ago in Mexico, "I was taking motion pictures of a prostitute, and they put me in jail." He may never have gotten caught before, but prosecutors say Sharp transported more than 1,400 pounds of marijuana and cocaine from the West Coast beginning around 2000, reports AP. "It was kind of a bad decision to make at this time of life," observed the judge. Court records say Sharp worked as a courier for Chicago-area dealers who got their supply from the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico. As part of the plea deal, Sharp has to forfeit $500,000 and will have to give up his award-winning lily farm in Florida.

This undated booking file photo provided by the US Marshals Service shows Leo Earl Sharp.
This undated booking file photo provided by the US Marshals Service shows Leo Earl Sharp.   (Uncredited)
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