Find out the true story behind all the highly acclaimed Clint Eastwood film” The Mule” which depicts the trials and tribulations of Leo Sharp, the Sinaloa Cartel’s drug trafficker of 87 years.

Who Was Leo Sharp?

Way before Leo became a drug trafficker; he was a decorated war veteran who fought in World War 2.

He received a Bronze Medal for his part in fighting perhaps one of the most violent fights during the Italian campaign.

Born in 1924 in Indiana, Leo Sharp always had a sense of adventure in him accompanied by his brutal honesty.

Once he returned from the war, Leo became a horticulturalist and made a respected career out of it.

He was quite proficient in daylilies and as time passed by, he started to maintain a farm where he created hybrids of new flower breeds.

There were more than 180 fresh daylily types that his name was registered with.

These were no simple daylilies as they won numerous awards in various international competitions.

In fact, there was even a complete flower strand that was named to honor him.One of these flowers was named Siloam Leo Sharp.

Sharp became so popular that even the White House grew his patented flowers.

In fact, he was invited by the Whitehouse for planting his daylilies when George H.W Bush was President of the United States. 

How Things Started To Change

As the new millennium progressed, Sharp’s flower business started to take a hit and as Sharp got older; he found it increasingly difficult to abide by these changes.

Most of the flower traders stared to take their business online.

Sharped however failed to do so as he was getting too old and didn’t think that learning how to operate the computer was worth it.

He still made an effort in selling his unique daylily breeds with the help of mail order catalogs but he did not achieve much success with it. Suffice to say, it did not seem like that Sharp’s business would be there for much longer.

He was about to lose his flower farm too, and it made things even worse. His doctor expected him to live to at least the age of hundred.

It meant that he would most likely be there to watch his life’s effort crumble before his very eyes.

However, things started to take a turn for Leo Sharp when a laborer who worked in his farm gave told him about an opportunity to make money.

The offer seemed simple and more importantly, it was a change to make some money, so Leo accepted it.



The Job

According to what the seasonal laborer told him, the job was to go to Arizona in a pickup truck, fill it with packages, and once the truck is full, drive it to Michigan and drop the packages off.

The laborer assured Leo that the authorities would never pull him over due to his age.

They would not ask questions, plus he would earn a decent amount of money that will allow him to take care of the daylilies.

The Perfect Mule

Initially, Sharp did not know what he was getting into. However, after the first couple of deliveries, things became as clear as day.

Surprisingly, Sharp did not mind this new job, in fact he was actually getting quite good at it.

The Sinaloa Cartel too notices of it and they started to trust Sharp even more.

After a few test runs, the cartel began to load his truck with millions of dollars’ worth of cocaine. They trusted him to deliver it all by himself.

Sharp was well aware of what he was into. He earned the cartel’s trust and respect.

They trusted him enough to talk with the men who loaded his pickup truck with the drugs – something that most other drug couriers are forbidden to do.

The cartel also didn’t mind if Sharp to a look at the supplies inside the truck.

His usual routine was to drive the truck inside the drug house, deliver the goods, and chat with the Cartel members. He even became friends with some of them.

Viejo in particular became close to Sharp. He was in charge of distributing the drugs in Detroit.  They became close enough to spend a vacation together in Hawaii.

Things started to bloom for Leo as his hard work and discretion earned him millions of dollars per year.

It gave him the opportunity to reinvest in his daylily business, which started to improve as well.

Becoming The DEA’s Prey

As things were going well for the Sinaloa Cartel and Leo Sharp, all it took was the indiscretion of a small time dealer to turn things around for everyone. Jeff Moore, a special agent in the D.E.A busted a dealer with cocaine (almost 2 kg).

He kept on pressing the dealer until he spoke. He told Jeff about the Cartel’s bookkeeper Ramon Ramos. This started the D.E.A’s witch hunt against the Sinaloa Cartel.

Once they found Ramos, making him crack wasn’t that hard. They offered him protection to make him crack sooner, and he spilled the beans immediately.

Ramos told the D.E.A about the pickup truck locations where more than 2 million dollars’ worth of cocaine was being traded. Upon observing the scene, Moore was under the impression that the drug trade he was witnessing was a one and done deal. But to his surprise, Ramos told him that it was routine business.

As a part of the protection deal, Ramos had to wear a wire and a camera to catch the Sinaloa cartel members in the act, this included Leo Sharp as well.

He caught his first ever glimpse of him and was astonished to see how old he looked.

Standing Trial

Sharp’s drug trafficking journey came to an end on the 21st of October in 2011. He was 87 years old back then.

The police pulled him over pretending that it was just for a routine stop.

Sharp got confused and stepped out of the car and asked the officer the reason for stopping him.

He got into an argument with the officer, after which the police got a drug dog for inspection.

The dog indicated that there was something fishy about the truck, and lo and behold, Sharp’s and the Sinaloa Cartel’s world came crumbling down.

Sharp was arrested then and there, despite his plea to the officers to just kill him.

He stood trial and his lawyer did his best to present him as someone who got manipulated to trade drugs at gunpoint.

The lawyer even tried to defend him by mentioning about his dementia. This was true partially, as the time when sharp was arrested; he did have a bit of dementia.

Sharp begged the judge to take it easy on him and even offered to grow Hawaiian papayas in exchange of keeping him out of prison.

All of his pleas fell on deaf years and he was given a 3 year prison sentence.

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