Brian Lee Tribble surrendered yesterday to Prince George's County authorities, who had been searching for him since Friday when a county grand jury indicted the 24-year-old friend of Len Bias along with two University of Maryland basketball players on drug charges.
Tribble arrived at the sheriff's office in Upper Marlboro about 10 a.m. with his attorney, Thomas C. Morrow. Last night, Tribble, a former Maryland student and one-time junior varsity basketball player, was being held at the county jail in Upper Marlboro in lieu of $250,000 bond.
Tribble and players Terry Long and David Gregg were indicted by a county grand jury after a month-long investigation into Bias' death June 19 from cocaine intoxication. All three were with the 22-year-old basketball star when he collapsed in his College Park dormitory suite early that morning, according to law enforcement officials.
Alan J. Goldstein, the attorney for Long and Gregg, accepted service of the indictment against them yesterday. Long, the Terrapins' 22-year-old center and Gregg, a 19-year-old forward, are scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 8 in Prince George's County Circuit Court. No arrest warrants have been issued for them and they are allowed to remain free until their arraignment.
Tribble is scheduled to be arraigned Friday and a bond review hearing is set for today. Morrow filed a motion yesterday to have Tribble's bond reduced. He termed the $250,000 bond, the sum requested by the state's attorney's office at the urging of the grand jury, an "unconscionable" amount. "Unless bail is reduced substantially," Morrow said in the papers filed in Circuit Court, "it is the equivalent of no bail at all, due to Tribble's lack of resources."
Tribble has had regular employment since he graduated from high school, according to the papers, and operates his own furniture reconditioning business under the name B.L. Tribble Cleaning Service, which operates from his parents' home.
Morrow said in court papers that Tribble needs 18 hours of college courses to earn a bachelor's degree and has lived with his parents in Northeast Washington most of his life. His mother, Loretta Tribble, was in Upper Marlboro yesterday to help his attorneys with efforts to get a bond review hearing. She said she was "shocked" by news of her son's alleged involvement with drugs.
She said she had been subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury and believed her testimony would help prove her son's innocence. Officials in the state's attorney's office would not confirm whether Loretta Tribble had been subpoenaed. The grand jury will resume its investigation Aug. 11 and will widen the scope of its probe to include possible drug use by university athletes.
Circuit Court Judge Joseph S. Casula ordered yesterday that the indictment against Tribble be unsealed. It charges him with distribution of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of PCP and possession of cocaine. Long and Gregg each were charged with one count of possession of cocaine and one count of obstruction of justice.
University Chancellor John B. Slaughter said yesterday that he would meet today with university Athletic Director Dick Dull to decide the status of Long and Gregg. A high-ranking university official said Friday that Dull is likely to recommend suspending them from the team pending the outcome of the court case.
Prince George's State's Attorney Arthur A. Marshall Jr. has said that the three persons with Bias when he collapsed in his dormitory suite were using drugs and that Tribble had brought the drugs into the dormitory suite. The indictment revealed no details about evidence linking Tribble, Long and Gregg to drugs that Marshall might have presented to the grand jury last week.
The indictment charges Long and Gregg with obstruction of justice for "removing evidence from 1103 Washington Hall . . . during and after the commission of a crime."
One member of the emergency rescue team said he saw no evidence of drugs or alcohol in the dormitory suite, which Bias shared with teammates Long, Gregg, Phil Nevin, Keith Gatlin and Jeff Baxter.
University police searching a dumpster behind the dormitory later found 0.15 of a gram of cocaine in a glass vial, cut straws containing cocaine residue, a glass pipe that can be used to smoke cocaine and empty bottles of beer and cognac. Marshall said those materials could be linked to the dormitory suite.
Police also found about 12 grams of "very high quality" cocaine in Bias' leased Nissan 300ZX the day after he died, a source close to the investigation said.
Tribble and Bias had known each other for about five years, according to Bias' friends, and often played pick-up basketball together.
When Bias collapsed about 6:30 a.m. in his dormitory suite, a man identifying himself as Brian Tribble called the 911 emergency number asking help for "Len Bias," according to a tape recording of the call.