DETROIT (AP) — A 90-year-old man who hauled more than a ton of cocaine into Michigan for a Mexican drug cartel has been sentenced to three years in prison on his birthday.
Leo Sharp says he's "really heartbroken" over his crimes. Detroit federal Judge Nancy Edmunds says age and World War II service aren't enough to keep Sharp out of prison. She calls the case "difficult and disgusting."
Sharp was sentenced Wednesday, seven months after pleading guilty. Prosecutors had recommended five years in prison, a substantial break from the guidelines.
Defense attorney Darryl Goldberg says Sharp has dementia and will do poorly in prison. He says prison is "not how we honor our heroes." Sharp was awarded a Bronze Star in World War II.
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
Damn....his face just makes me feel terrible. I think he should've got home confinement. A year at most in lockup. Whats the point of locking this dude up? Fucking terrible....prosecutor was cold blooded.
There may be cases where elderly smugglers may be "victims" who were seduced, variously coerced or even threatened with death into being mules.
Here are some pictures of an old woman whose story I've often wondered about. I don't know a thibng about her and would really like to know more about her and disposition pf her case. At this time, I feel sorry for this granny and tend to see her as a "victim" of evil people. Anyone have ideas on how to find out more about her?
She was apprehended in Nogales, AZ circa July 2010.
I found out she was 94 yo and was arrested on March 30, 2010 and turned over by CBP to ICE. I could find absolutely nothing else about what happened to her, so I expect the charges were dropped and she was released.
Shame they released those photos, no reason for releasing them except to ridicule her.
The federal judge was very accurate in her description of the case as "difficult and disgusting". I feel sure she agonized over the decision.
It may (probably will) turn out to be a life sentence and he will die in prison.
I am not yet 90, but I have passed the 70 year mark and the thought of spending my remaining time on this earth behind bars is a crushing and horrifying thought. Likewise, the thought of having the occasional "senior moment" turn into a crippling dementia is horrifying. So I have some conflicting thoughts about the case. (hopefully this is a lucid moment).
I can't help but compare this case and the principles involved to the many discussions we have had here on BB about impunity and the laws in Mexico that limit the term that a minor can be sentenced for a crime.
Choco said; "Oh yeah, I can see the 90 year olds lining up to drive cocaine cross-country."
I agree that is not likely to happen. But where do you draw the line? 85 year olds? 80 year olds or 75 year olds? The belief or certainty that one will not be punished for a crime is what leads to impunity, which is at the heart of the criminal problem in Mexico. So allowing age to be the determining factor whether a individual is to be punished is setting a dangerous precedent.
(While I agree that it not likely to see 90 year olds lining up to be drug mules if this man escaped punishment, we all might be surprised at the number that would do it if they knew there would be no consequences)
Just as cartels use the lack of consequences for a minor committing crimes in Mexico is used as a tool to recruit young people into the narco life ("even if you get caught, you will be free when you turn 18), escaping punishment if you are over a certain age would give the cartels another recruitment tool.
I don't know what purpose home confinement and ankle bracelets would serve in this case. I think everyone agrees that it is highly improbable that the man would commit the same or other crimes.
If his mental health had deteriorated to the extent that he did not know right from wrong at the time he committed the crimes, or even when he was tried, he should have been remanded to a facility to care for the mentally ill.
There are not enough facts given in the story, but if he suffered from such severe dementia, I hold his family partly accountable for not limiting his freedom prior to all this happening. Hopefully he will get better mental health care being the custody of the feds.
If I had been the judge, I would have given him a year in prison. He would have had a better chance to live long enough to be free again.
Words are powerful weapons, be careful how you use them.