Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Widower, 88, caught in crack cocaine sting

Sarasota police say the man, who says he was lonely and bored, is the oldest person they've arrested on drug charges.

Bored and lonesome, an 88-year-old widower who ventured out for some adventure and crack cocaine landed in the middle of a drug sting, police say.

Sarasota police said Deo Dubbs is one of the oldest people they've ever arrested on a drug charge. Nine others were arrested in the Friday evening sting.

"I really have nothing else to do," said Dubbs, a retired county schools maintenance worker. "I get lonely and get tired of watching the tube, and go out and do something I shouldn't do."

Lt. Paul Sutton said Dubbs drove his Buick Century past undercover officers posing as drug dealers in north Sarasota before he pulled over to negotiate a deal. Sutton said the elderly man was a savvy bargainer who complained about the size of the single piece of crack the officer offered him for $10 and ended up with two pieces.

Dubbs said he started experimenting with drugs a few years ago, but he would not say whether he was buying the crack for himself or someone else. He spent the night in jail following his arrest and was released on his own recognizance. He has a 1997 arrest for carrying a concealed weapon.

If convicted, he could face a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison. Dubbs, who turns 89 in March, said Monday he will accept whatever punishment he gets.

Dubbs said he's mostly worried about what his friends will think.

"I'm pretty well-thought of at the Senior Friendship Center," Dubbs said. "(This will) spoil whatever reputation I have."