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World War II Hero Busted for Trafficking Cocaine in Michigan Hopes to Avoid Prison

Mehdi Alani, Thinkstock

You know times are hard when you are still slinging cocaine in your “golden years.” In 2011, the Michigan State Police busted 89-year-old Indiana resident Leo Sharp for transporting over 200 pounds of cocaine along Interstate 94. Reports indicate that Sharp had hauled over 1,000 pounds of coke across the country before he was caught.

Last fall, Sharp pleaded guilty to the charges. He is now scheduled to return to court on his 90th birthday (May 7) for sentencing. However, Sharp is hoping the receive some leniency from the judge and not be sent to prison because he claims to suffer from dementia.

Recorded wiretaps from street narcs indicate that Michigan drug dealers often referred to Sharp as “old man.”

Sharp’s attorney, Darryl Goldberg, argues that putting an elderly man with health problems in prison would prove costly for both the government and taxpayers. He, too, is hoping the judge will consider alternative sentencing options for Sharp who is a World War II hero with a Bronze Star.

“He is a colorful, self-made, charitable man who has worked hard throughout this entire admirable, extraordinary, and long life,” wrote Goldberg in a court memo. “Mr. Sharp made a monumental mistake at a moment of perceived financial weakness, and was exploited and threatened, but his conduct in this case was truly an aberration from a law-abiding life.”

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