Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

87 Year Old Drug Mule Wiretaps Gives Insight to his Strange Link to Sinaloa Cartel

Sunday, March 4, 2012 |

Jeeze, I wonder if this old guy was tested for Alzheimer's, or mental capability.  This takes on a different perspective....Paz, Chivis

By Robert Snell The Detroit News

Detroit— Alleged drug dealers working for Mexico's most powerful narcotics ring joked about using an 87-year-old man to haul cocaine across the country, according to conversations secretly recorded by federal wiretaps.

They called Leo Sharp "grandfather" and the "old man" and expressed concern about the alleged drug mule's mental state.
The recorded conversations, portions of which were filed in federal court, illustrate the odd marriage between an octogenarian and a notorious Mexican cartel.

Transcripts of the recorded phone calls and interviews reveal that Sharp was running late Oct. 18.
 That was three days before federal drug agents dismantled a drug pipeline that allegedly pumped as much as 660 pounds of cocaine into Metro Detroit each month since 2008

Sharp, a mutton-chopped man from Michigan City, Ind., had to make a pit stop in Oklahoma — for dentures, according to federal court records.
"He's getting teeth put in in the next few days," said a laughing Pedro Delgado-Sanchez, 44.
Delgado-Sanchez of Miami has been charged alongside Sharp and 16 others in a massive drug conspiracy case in Detroit.

Sharp was hand-picked because the senior citizen was less likely to draw law-enforcement scrutiny, investigators said.
"This is just another relatively clever way drug-trafficking organizations try to avoid detection," U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Rich Isaacson said. "They will go to any length to avoid detection."

The plan failed.
The Michigan State Police pulled over Sharp's black Lincoln Mark LT near Chelsea on Oct. 21.

Sharp was stopped for following too closely to another vehicle and improper lane use.
Court records indicate DEA agents were targeting Sharp.
They had obtained a search warrant for his cellphone and tracked him as he traveled eastbound on Interstate 94.

After stopping Sharp, troopers searched the Lincoln and found 228 pounds of cocaine stashed in the bed of the pickup, according to court records.
The cocaine was worth more than $2.9 million.
Sharp's lawyer, Darryl Goldberg, said the traffic stop appears to be suspicious.

"From what I've seen, there appears to be a very legitimate basis to challenge the traffic stop," he said.
Isaacson, the DEA spokesman, defended the investigation.

"Any legal arguments regarding this investigation will be capably handled by (prosecutors) in the appropriate forum," he said.
In an earlier interview, Sharp told The News he was forced at gunpoint to deliver cocaine across the country.

The indictment, unsealed Thursday, says otherwise.
He has allegedly worked as a drug mule since 2009 and is responsible for delivering about 670 kilograms of cocaine to Michigan — or almost 1,500 pounds, according to court records.

The drug organization described in the indictment is part of the Sinaloa cartel based in Sinaloa, Mexico.
The reputed leader of the cartel, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, is described by Mexican authorities as the country's top drug lord.

He's worth more than $1 billion, according to Forbes magazine, and has eluded authorities since his 2001 escape from prison in a laundry truck.
The drug organization that allegedly used Sharp to transport cocaine also relied on members from Michigan, Mexico, Florida and California, according to prosecutors.

Since 2011, the DEA and other investigators have seized more than 200 kilograms of cocaine and more than $2.5 million cash.
Drug shipments entered the United States in Arizona before being driven to Michigan.
The cocaine was unloaded and distributed to members of the drug ring, who met at a warehouse in Wyandotte, according to the indictment.

The members reportedly returned to the warehouse with cash from drug deals. The money was loaded into vehicles, including an RV, and driven back to the Mexican border.
(photo below is of Pedro Delgado-Sanchez)

In another monitored phone conversation, alleged drug ring member Octavio Humberto Gamez talked to Delgado-Sanchez about their elderly courier.

The conversation — translated from Spanish to English —was transcribed in court records:

Delgado-Sanchez: "Did he call you?"

Gamez: "Yeah."
Delgado-Sanchez: "What did the old man tell you?"

Gamez: "He wanted to verify what he had told me because he couldn't remember what he had told me."
Delgado-Sanchez: (Laughs).

Gamez: (Laughs
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16 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, so for two years he was forced at gunpoint to deliver cocaine across the country.

I can't believe the nerve of this cartels, they kidnapped and force an old defenseless veteran of war men for two years to transport drugs. We need to killed all this Mexican criminals, before they begin raping our women too.

Anonymous said...

For mexican goverment more important than lifes of soldiers and policemen are lifes of stupid,weak drug users.Drugs should be legal in Mexico,and it's should be only USA problem what to with this problem

Anonymous said...

To late, and money talks

Anonymous said...

leagalize it all and the problem ends cheaper to treat than lock up

Anonymous said...

And I bet he's. Not the only one. Hey as longer there's buyer's. It's the Northamerica recession. At least he'll have health insurance, food and a roof. He can just claim Alzheimer jajajaja. He's no victim, he's gotta have pounds of cash somewhere. They oughta check Retirement's home apts now.Mexico has a big consumption problem too but is like a fad.but USA has had it for a long time, I'm hopefully it will diminish in Mexico because we're loco as it is. Give some hillbillies coke and automatic weapons shit!!"they will probably call themselves the Kentucky head hunters. SAY NO TO COKE. I HEAR BETTY ROSS IS A MULE FOR LOS XETAS.JA JAJA
.

Anonymous said...

To all of you Naive U.S. citizens.If you were aware of your own history & politics you would know that your dear country (U.S.A) tends to forget about the men & women who served their beloved country.Ask your war veterans how good their benefits are?!Its no wonder that people such as Mr.Sharp turn to the easy money.When you read these articles pay close attention...did you read the part about him stopping in Oklahoma to get his dentures?That most likely wasnt covered by your dear government.Another thing alot of people missed...he was moving drugs for over 2 years...I doubt they had someone pointing a gun at him for that long.C'mon America,take responsibility for what your people do,instead of trying to blame everything on everyone else.

Anonymous said...

cartels protected him more than our government :(

Anonymous said...

There are old scumbags just like there are young scumbag. For every 20 year old out there looking to make a quick buck, believe me theres an 80 year old looking to do the same thing

Anonymous said...

Amerikkka only protects the RICH. Too bad these redneck hillbillies don't see that.

Thanks Nobama... I haven't been able to find a job... I wish I knew some Cartel members. If gladly be a delivery driver. Tax free money!!!!

Where can I get a hold of cartel members? I need a job!!!!

Anonymous said...

We are all responsible for our own welfare, NOT THE STATE, neither Mexico or the US govt is here to provide the necessitys of life, DO IT FOR YOURSELF. Most all the comments made here piss and moan about one govt or another not providing this or that, WHAT HAPPENED TO THE INDIVIDUALIST that built America and Mexico. This old geezer coplaining,blaming , Hell yes he got CAUGHT! BS

Anonymous said...

Theres blames for both sides no questions asked, but like some one said if you read your history you will know that most blame is towards usa, i mean come on countries already taking of a legalization of drugs and the usa right away without hesitation nor argument rejected the proposal, why? Because we have the biggest Capos here in the usa, i mean just look back who was the biggest drug dealer in the 80's and who did he belong to? THE cIA dont believe me research it.

Anonymous said...

@ anon March 5, 2012 6:25 AM,I agree with you 100%,My beef is with the people that dont take responsibility for their actions or want to lay blame on others,or other countries.With those whos comments are directed toward my country(Mexico)as if our neighbor to the North has no faults or defects!

Anonymous said...

Jeeze, I wonder if this old guy was tested for Alzheimer's, or mental capability. This takes on a different perspective....Paz, Chivis

A lot of old people have that problem if you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

to "leagalize it all and the problem ends cheaper to treat than lock up."

what don't you understand? let me count.

"Mother 'repeatedly sold daughter, 6, for sex in return for drugs'
By Rachel Quigley
Last updated at 10:02 PM on 5th March 2012
A mother was arrested after police received a tip-off she was selling sex with her six-year-old daughter to strangers in return for drugs."

if we use your legalize strategy i guess we will have to make it free as well.

Anonymous said...

You must be a real idiot to think he was really forced ..

Anonymous said...

First they say he is driving a car ..then they say drugs were found in the bed of the truck..so which is.. this is crap strory

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