Tuesday, May 22, 2018

"The Mule" Clint Eastwood Movie about Leo Sharp, the 87 Year old Sinaloa Cartel Drug transporter

By Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat

Leo and Clint
Remember Leo Sharp?  He is the 87 year old Sinaloa Cartel drug mule who was arrested in Michigan in 2011 while transporting cocaine worth $3M.

And here comes the movie.  Filmmaker/Actor, Clint Eastwood will act and direct the movie titled, “The Mule”.

Eastwood will play Leo Sharp, named Earl Stone in the script.  Bradley Cooper is in talks to be in the film but may not be able to because of a scheduling conflict with a movie he is producing, about composer Leonard Bernstein.  If he does join The Mule cast he will play DEA agent Colin Bates.

The film adapts a NYT’s article written by Sam Dolnick.  The article chronicled the life experiences of Sharp an award winning horticulturist and Bronze Star WW2 vet who became a drug transporter for the Sinaloa Cartel.
The florist and horticulturist’s pièce de résistance was his prize winning day lilies.  His day lilies were widely sought after.  His neighbors reported seeing buses filled with customers waiting outside his gate to purchase his flowers, totally unaware, that the man they deeply respected, was Sinaloa Cartel's  most prolific drug courier,  for the world’s most powerful drug cartel organization.  

Chris Graveline, the assistant U.S. attorney said; “By midway 2010, he had already brought 1,100 kilos here to Detroit.”
In a 2012 interview in Indiana, the world-renown producer of day lilies explained that “cocaine is also a plant that makes people happy”.

He fully admitted being a transporter the Cartel, paid  more than $1 million to make seven trips from Mexico, but he vowed he would never spent a night in prison.

"I won't live in a toilet with bars. Ever," he said.

Arrest video:


From the NYT article:

"The organization worked with Detroit’s biggest drug dealers, people like Antonio (Pancho) Simmons, a fearsome, one-legged man with a long criminal record. But in some ways, it was the couriers driving across the country’s highways, their cars’ hidden compartments packed with kilos of drugs, who played the most crucial role. And no courier had been more prolific than Tata, the one driving the Lincoln pickup on Oct. 21, 2011. Tata had become a one-man cocaine fountain, working on a scale the Detroit D.E.A.'s office had never encountered. According to the cartel’s handwritten drug ledgers that the government obtained, he delivered 246 kilos in February 2010; 250 kilos in March; another 250 kilos the next month; 200 kilos the next; and another 200 the next. “Before you know it,” Moore said, “he’s an urban legend.” 
Leo Sharp, the most prolific drug mule that regional law enforcement had ever tracked, was placed under arrest. The Sinaloa cartel’s nickname for him was well chosen. They called him “Tata”. Grandfather."
Sharp traveled across the country for day-lily speaking engagements and conventions, but federal authorities say they believe he made time to visit Mexico for his other line of work. "Bosses in Mexico know of the Grandfather."
2012 interview

When Sharp was arrested in 2011, he was clearly less than “sharp” in his articulation and demeanor.  Just prior to being pulled over he was driving erratically almost sideswiping a semi.  Audio tapes of phone communications reveals narcos laughing and sharing info about Tata getting confused and lost.

Yet, he appears much more together in a 2012 interview.  The interview where he boasts about never serving a day in prison.

He warned at least three times of committing suicide; when arrested, outside the courthouse, and after sentencing.  In reality he never attempted to take his life.

Prosecutors requested a five year sentence; he was 90 by that time.  In the end he was given a three year sentence.

In 2015, his attorney petitioned the court to have his client released early.  The argument was that Sharp had but six months to live.  Under the circumstances the court granted the request, and he was released in August, 2015.

He did not die within those six months, he died 18 months later, at the age of 92.

He served only one year in prison.