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May 7, 2014

Elderly coke dealer, on his 90th birthday, gets 3-year prison sentence

As reported in this local piece, headlined "90-Year-Old Drug Mule Sentenced To 3 Years For Part In Major Drug Scheme," a unique drug dealer got a pretty standard drug sentence in federal court in Michigan today. Here are the details:

Leo Sharp learned that he would spend three years in federal prison for his role in a major drug operation in which prosecutors say Sharp transported more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine to across the country before being caught in Michigan.  Sharp was running bricks of cocaine from Tucson, Arizona, to Detroit when he was pulled over near Chelsea, 60 miles west of Detroit, after making a bad lane change in 2011.

Outside the courthouse Sharp cried that he was “heartbroken” and didn’t feel that his age had anything to do with the length of his prison sentence. When a state trooper approached, Sharp was upset and declared, “Just kill me and let me leave this planet.”...

Prosecutors were recommending a five-year prison sentence — urging the judge to look beyond Sharp’s age and health issues and lock him up for delivering more than a ton of cocaine.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Graveline, noted that there’s video of Sharp  — known as “grandpa” and “old man” — joking and laughing with others charged in the drug conspiracy.

Graveline said Sharp received at least $1.25 million from his handlers for hauling more than 2,750 pounds of cocaine to Michigan from the Southwest in 2010 and 2011.  He’s one of 19 people under indictment in a case connected to Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel. Graveline said the cartel “literally flooded the streets of southeast Michigan and Fort Wayne, Indiana, with kilograms of cocaine.”

Sharp, of Michigan City, Indiana, had hoped to stay out of prison.  Defense attorney Darryl Goldberg said Sharp has dementia and other issues, and would be a burden for the prison system. “Of course I respectfully disagree with the judge’s sentence but she is a very experienced jurist and I hope that Leo can survive the sentence,” said Goldberg....

During sentencing Judge Nancy Edmunds said Sharp was in the middle of a huge operation and transported cocaine six different times and was paid more than a million dollars.

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May 7, 2014 at 11:41 PM | Permalink


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I hope he lives for more than the three years. If he would sell something legal that is unhealthy to humans then he would not be in this situation. Tobacco is legal but kills people. More so than coke. Perhaps the judge is a smoker and will not live to 90. We need to level out some of the health and crime prevention issues.

Posted by: Liberty1st | May 8, 2014 12:07:02 AM

IIRC, that was somewhere around what the guidelines called for, right? I don't think that's terrible, although I'm sure whatever prison gets him will be cringing at the effect on their budget.

Posted by: Erik M | May 8, 2014 6:33:24 AM

I agree Erik, thats not so terrible. He didnt get a slap on the wrist considering his age.

He might live to be a 100, who knows.

If he goes to a minimum, life cant be that bad. If he can drive a vehicle all the way to Mexico, hes mobile.

God, mexico, I would have to stop 25 times. A cookie and cup of coffee and 50 miles later potty break. Then repeat. Get out and walk around and stretch, I hate just sitting.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | May 8, 2014 9:00:24 AM

In urging the court to impose a five-year sentence
"...U.S. Attorney Christopher Graveline, noted that there’s video of Sharp — known as “grandpa” and “old man” — joking and laughing with others charged in the drug conspiracy."

Do candidates for U.S. attorney jobs have to go to asshole school first...or do only assholes apply?

Posted by: John K | May 8, 2014 12:07:10 PM

John K, actually they go to hate schools first where they then learn to be assholes...

Posted by: Randy | May 8, 2014 12:38:29 PM

Summary: after careful consideration, it appears that U?S. attorneys are born Assholes.
Its the degree that they cilmb the the ladder that marks their achievement.

Its not possible to train anyone to become as big of assholes as the AUSA are. They simply are hard wired for the job.

Thus the asshole song was created. Most anyone that has ever sat in a federal courtroom for a shirt time. Knows the song was created for them.

With the flimsiest of evidence they go for enhancements. The AUSA pounds it and the judge paints it... So let it be spoken, so shall it be done. When it comes to sentenceing.

My all time favorite case is. Duck hunter gets 30 yrs. have to do a little searching to see all the steps leading up to the 30 yr sentence. No doubt the guy is a nasty, but ge was charged with felon in possession and it ended up 30 yrs. It was posted on this blog some yrs back. You need to find the complete writeup from this site to appreciate what the federal guidelines are all about.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | May 8, 2014 5:51:24 PM

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