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File | AP
This booking file photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows Leo Earl Sharp, who was arrested for cocaine possession near Chelsea, Ind. Sharp, a drug courier referred to as the "old man" by his handlers, will be sentenced on Wednesday, his 90th birthday.

Cocaine drug mule to learn prison fate on 90th birthday

DETROIT – Federal prosecutors in Detroit are recommending a five-year prison sentence for an elderly Indiana man who was a cross-country drug courier for about a decade.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Graveline said Leo Sharp worked for a drug organization that “literally flooded” southeastern Michigan and Fort Wayne, Indiana, with cocaine.

Sharp is hoping his age and health problems will persuade a judge to keep him out of prison Wednesday – his 90th birthday. But in a court filing Tuesday, the government says he deserves no such break.

Sharp, a Michigan City, Indiana, resident, pleaded guilty last fall.

Michigan State Police caught him in 2011 with more than 200 pounds of cocaine on Interstate 94, west of Detroit.

Graveline said the government can handle Sharp’s health problems in prison.