71-Year-Old Man Arrested For Drug Possession

An undercover investigation, with a very unusual suspect.
Authorties said 71-year-old Ernest Tribble was arrested for possession of crack cocaine. Law officials admit, it's not your average arrest.
"Not quite 71, maybe in the mid 60's or so but he is the oldest person I've run across," said Commander Mickey Hadnot of the Northeast Texas Narcotics Task  Force.
For 3 months, Commander Hadnot and the Task Force had been watching Ernest Tribble, in an undercover sting that began after neighbors reported prostitution and drug dealing at the 71-year old's home.
"We were able to purchase some amounts of crack cocaine prior to executing the search warrant," said Hadnot.
Officials said a raid last Thursday turned up 56 grams of crack cocaine and 4 weapons, including a .25 automatic pistol.
"By his own admission," said Hadonot, "he admitted to selling crack cocaine, and having prositutes  applying their trade at his residence."
When KLTV went by Ernest Tribble's home Tuesday afternoon, he denied he did anything wrong.
"They lied," said Tribble. "That's what I'm saying. (There is) no prostitution here, period."
Tribble admits he served 9 years in prison for selling crack. This time however, he said he was only holding the crack cocaine at his house for a friend.
"I (have) never sold no dope here, none been sold here. I don't know where he came up with it whoever their informant was or where they came up with it."
The 71-year-old suffers from emphysema. He moved slowly around the house and has to wear an oxygen tank to breathe.
As fas as a jail term, Tribble said he hopes he does not return to prison, but if he does, he hopes he recieves good medical care.
"I would just hope that they had some medicine in there for me," he said. "If they don't I can't see nothing to do, but die because I can't breathe."
Regardless of age, Rusk County officials say Tribble broke the law and like any other citizen, he has to deal with the consequences.
Authorities say if convicted, Ernest Tribble could face a sentence of 2 to 20 years on second degree felony charges. They said it is possible this will become a federal case and carry an even longer sentence.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com