Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 9, 2013

89-year-old drug courier pleads guilty

ED WHITE
Associated Press

---- — DETROIT — An 89-year-old Indiana man who grows lilies pleaded guilty Tuesday in Detroit to serving as a drug mule to distribute more than 1,400 pounds of cocaine.

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

“In six months I’ll be 90,” Sharp said.

Sharp was 87 in 2011 when a Michigan state trooper pulled his pickup truck 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 in the second row who investigated the case.