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87-Year-Old Man Claims He Was Forced At 'Gunpoint' to Transport $2.9 Million in Cocaine


...charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute the drug.

An 87-year-old Michigan City, Indiana, man is embroiled in a bizarre case after he was arrested in Michigan with 104 bricks of cocaine in his pickup truck (worth about $2.9 million).

But Leo Sharp, the unsuspecting elderly man at the center of what is shaping up to be a bizarre legal battle, told a judge that he was forced at "gunpoint" to carry the drugs.

On Monday, Sharp could barely contain himself in the courtroom, as he ardently attempted to defend himself.

It seems he's not the only one who is surprised by the allegations waged against him. His attorney, Ray Richards, says that Sharp's age is somewhat unprecedented -- at least in his experience. "This will be my first actual drug case where the accused is this old," Richards explains.

The Detroit Free Press has more about Monday's court appearance:

In court, Sharp did not offer a full explanation about what happened. But at one point, he tried telling U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Randon that he was forced at gunpoint to haul the cocaine, until his lawyer stepped in and advised him to just answer the judge's questions.

Richards said this was Sharp's first time in the federal court system, and his client likely was confused by the questioning.

While he was released on bond, three days after he was stopped for improper lane use while driving alone on Interstate 94 near Chelsea, 60 miles west of Detroit, his legal troubles are far from over. Still, he told the Associated Press that he's innocent after he made his way out of the courtroom.

The incident unfolded when Sharp was stopped last Friday. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says that troopers, with the help of a drug-sniffing dog, discovered the mass amount of cocaine in his truck.

A criminal complaint signed by a DEA agent is thin on details, and there was no mention in court about Sharp's destination.

Sharp is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute the drug. If convicted, he could spend at least 10 years behind bars. But he seems more than ready to fight the allegations.

In fact, he apparently says that he wants to write a book about the debacle.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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