DETROIT – A 90-year-old man, who worked as a drug mule for a Mexican cartel, is headed to federal prison.
Leo Sharp was arrested in Michigan during a traffic stop in 2011 after he was caught hauling millions of dollars worth of cocaine in his vehicle.
Sharp was sentenced on his birthday after pleading guilty.
However, his attorney says he was forced into the crime and has no business behind bars.
Over the past few years, Sharp transported more than a ton of cocaine from the south into Michigan and was paid over a $1 million.
His attorney argued Sharp is a war veteran with no criminal history and was forced by the Mexican cartel to transport the cocaine or his family would be killed.
He also says Sharp suffers from dementia and shouldn’t go to prison for his crime but be ordered to house confinement.
Judge Nancy Edmunds disagreed.
Instead of sentencing the 90-year-old to 60 months in prison, which is what the prosecutors wanted, she sentenced Sharp to 36 months.
When asked if he felt he should have gotten special treatment, Sharp said, “I don’t think so. I don’t think age has anything to do with it.”
Darryl Goldberg, Sharp’s attorney, said, “He’s a 90-year-old man with dementia and a laundry list of other health conditions. Everyone else seems to believe the Bureau of Prisons is up to the task and I sure hope they are.”
He said, “He’s competent. He understands enough to appreciate what’s going on around him, but he certainly has significant limitations. He has dementia, he’s forgetful, he’s confused. He makes poor decisions.”
Sharp was released into the custody of a relative but will be allowed to self-report to prison at a later date.