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

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.

About The Author

Ryan Felton

Ryan Felton was born in 1990 and spent the majority of his childhood growing up in Livonia. In 2009, after a short stint at Eastern Michigan University, he moved to Detroit where he has remained ever since. After graduating from Wayne State University’s journalism program, he went on to work as a staff writer...
Scroll to read more Metro Detroit News articles
Join the Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.