Elderly courier, 89, pleads guilty in federal drug case - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Elderly courier, 89, pleads guilty in federal drug conspiracy case

Posted: Updated:
Leo Sharp, 89 Leo Sharp, 89

DETROIT (AP) -- An 89-year-old man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Detroit to serving as a drug mule in a scheme to distribute more than 1,400 pounds of cocaine.

Leo Sharp of Michigan City, Ind., is one of the oldest criminal defendants to step inside Detroit's federal court. He was contrite and very talkative during his appearance, saying he had never before committed a crime and worked for a drug organization because he needed money.

Sharp was 87 in 2011 when a Michigan state trooper pulled him over on Interstate 94, west of Detroit. Anxious and upset about what the trooper would find, he declared, "Just kill me and let me leave this planet."

In court, Sharp wore a dark suit that had a lapel pin signifying his service in World War II. He playfully winked at drug agents who investigated the case. His hearing aids weren't strong enough so U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds invited Sharp to stand just a few feet away from her.

"You knew it was cocaine, right?" Edmunds asked.

"I did," Sharp replied. "Oh, yes."

The delivery of more than 200 pounds wasn't Sharp's first interstate haul. He admitted he was responsible for more than 1,400 pounds of drugs. The government said it has evidence that Sharp was transporting marijuana and cocaine from the West Coast back in 2000.

Nonetheless, prosecutors are showing mercy by recommending a five-year prison sentence because of Sharp's age and his war service. It's a significant break: The sentencing guidelines, which aren't mandatory, call for a minimum of 14 years.

Defense attorney Darryl Goldberg said he will ask for less than five years when Sharp returns to court on Feb. 11.

Sharp owes $500,000 as part of the plea deal and has agreed to give up his lily nursery in Apopka, Fla.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Recovering quadriplegic returns to the stage

    Recovering quadriplegic returns to the stage

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:30 PM EDT2014-04-18 20:30:51 GMT
    A 28-year-old man from Clarkston is told he'll never walk again after a tragic accident, but with modern medicine and raw determination he's working to prove doctors wrong.fb
    A 28-year-old man from Clarkston is told he'll never walk again after a tragic accident, but with modern medicine and raw determination he's working to prove doctors wrong.fb
  • Ficano to seek fourth term as Wayne Co. Executive

    Ficano to seek fourth term as Wayne Co. Executive

    Friday, April 18 2014 12:12 PM EDT2014-04-18 16:12:33 GMT
    Embattled Wayne Co. Executive Robert Ficano will seek a fourth term. In a release, Ficano says he will kick off his re-election campaign during a news conference on April 21.
    Embattled Wayne Co. Executive Robert Ficano will seek a fourth term. In a release, Ficano says he will kick off his re-election campaign during a news conference on April 21.
  • Judge sentences man whose daughter died in raid

    Judge sentences man whose daughter died in raid

    Friday, April 18 2014 11:34 AM EDT2014-04-18 15:34:43 GMT
    A Detroit man whose daughter was accidentally killed by police during a raid has been sentenced to 40 to 60 years in prison for second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a teenager.
    A Detroit man whose daughter was accidentally killed by police during a raid has been sentenced to 40 to 60 years in prison for second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a teenager.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices