Second Arrest, Second Drug Charge In A Month For 71-Year-Old - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/21/04-Rusk County

Second Arrest, Second Drug Charge In A Month For 71-Year-Old

A 71-year-old East Texan has been arrested, again, charged with selling crack cocaine. It was his second arrest in a month.
Ernest Tribble's home was raided Monday night. Authorities said crack cocaine was sold from Tribble's home to an undercover officer Monday afternoon.
It was the second raid and for a second time, the 71-year-old denied doing anything wrong.
"I ain't got nothing in there," said Tribble. "If they found something in there then it's somebody else's. It ain't mine."
However, officials said Tribble had broken the law again. Searching the house, authorities said they discovered a pill bottle containing almost a half ounce of crack cocaine and a shotgun.
When KLTV spoke to Tribble just minutes after the raid, he said he was not afraid of returning to jail.
"They put people in jail," he said. "I'm not being smart, but I don't want to go to jail. If I have to go to jail I'll be glad to go and be there to live until I die. I don't got too much longer to live no way." Last month, KLTV met up with Tribble after his arrest. He shuffled around his home slowly and showed us the oxygen tank he uses to breathe. After the arrest, authorities said Tribble told them, he'd be back in business.
"First time we were here he did tell us he would be selling again," said Commander Mickey Hadnot of the Northeast Texas Narcotics Task Force. "I wasn't surprised by it, coming out here finding some more."
Sonja Wallace has been a neighbor of Ernest Tribble her entire life. She said he's been in and out of jail for decades. She's said she's always noticed a flow of people around his home.
"It has been a nuisance," Sonja said. "I'm a mother of two and I don't want my children to be around that kind of stuff."
Sonja said Tribble needs to learn a lesson.
"He might be an old man but if he's doing it he needs to go to jail," she said. "I mean, I know a man is innocent until proven guilty but if he's doing it, he's doing it. He needs to go to jail for good."
Tuesday afternoon, Tribble was released from the Rusk County jail on $5,000 bond. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance, a second degree felony carrying a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
Officials said Tribble could face federal charges as well.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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