New York Times profiles 90-year-old local drug mule Leo Sharp

Jun 11, 2014 at 12:06 pm

You may have heard the name Leo Sharp in local news reports lately. Last month, the 90-year-old received a three-year sentence for his involvement in the Sinaloa drug cartel's Detroit operations; in fact, he was their top mule.

In this week's New York Times Sunday magazine, writer Sam Dolnick takes a deep-dive into Sharp's life and how he became involved in what authorities say was the largest cocaine operation across the region. From Dolnick:

Special Agent Jeff Moore and his team in the Detroit field division had spent months investigating a local branch of the Sinaloa cartel, the world’s most notorious and powerful drug-trafficking ring, led by Joaquín Guzmán, known as El Chapo. With a sprawling network of distributors, couriers, wholesalers and street dealers, the organization had pumped thousands of kilos of cocaine from the Mexican border through Arizona safe houses and into Detroit. It was by every measure the biggest cocaine operation Detroit authorities had ever seen. In previous years, a significant bust might be a dozen kilos; now the cartel was bringing in 200 kilos a month.

Quick fact on Sharp unearthed by Dolnick: The man loves to raise day-lillies.

Read the entire profile here.