Leo SharpIf there's a lesson to be learned in Indiana cops' allegations that an 87-year-old man was driving around with 104 bricks of cocaine, it's be afraid, be very, very afraid. The feds say a traffic stop for driving in the improper lane turned up $2.9 million worth of drugs in a truck driven by Leo Sharp, essentially blowing every drug dealer/drug runner stereotype out of the water. As if we didn't have enough trouble catching these guys?
Sharp is telling a judge that he was forced at gunpoint to tote the load of cocaine. His court case will determine whether he's telling the truth. But whether this geriatric is a hardcore dealer or just a mule being coerced by a dealer, both scenarios are bad for the rest of us.
No one likes to hear it, but cops depend on a modicum of stereotyping to get the really hard drugs off our streets. We hear the word, and we think "racial profiling," but there are myriad forms of legitimate profiling. There are entire TV shows devoted to it.
But what do you want to bet there's nothing in the FBI archives that describes Grampy the Drug Kingpin? There isn't an octogenarian I know who I'd suspect of running drugs. Maybe they've got a little pot in the bedside table for their glaucoma?
I bear folks in their 80s all due respect; age is nothing but a number after all. But I'd like to think that by the time you're old enough to get your movie theater discount without having to show proof of age, you've got a bit more wisdom than the morons who think cocaine (or heroin or meth or ... ) is a sound business plan. At the very least, if a geriatric is going to dabble in the criminal, I'd think it would be along the lines of a good Medicaid scam? It's wrong, but it doesn't kill anyone!
But this is the problem. None of us see an old man and think, "He's got drugs." Which means no one is going to call the cops to report suspicious activity. And the average young cop is going to be more wary of taking the drug dog to Pops' car because he just doesn't seem "the type." Whether old people are dealing drugs, or drug dealers are forcing old people to carry their drugs, it certainly makes me think the "war on drugs" will be going on for a good long time.
How about you? Did you see Leo Sharp was 87 and say, "No way!"?