Ernie worked on the security detail for Frank Lopez, but after Tony Montana, Manny Ribera, and Chi-Chi kill Frank and Mel Bernstein, Tony offers him a similar job in his newly established Montana Cartel. Working for Tony proves to be a similar experience to working for Frank. He drives the car, opens the door and does the odd jobs. During the intense scene where he witnesses the killing of Frank and Mel, he nervously looks at Tony and Manny, unsure of his survival swiging a bottle of JD whiskey, Tony comments casually, "You want a job, Ernie?" indicating that because Ernie was not in Frank's good graces, he was no threat to Tony's power. After Tony and Alejandro Sosa become enemies, Sosa sends assassins to Tony's island where Ernie is killed. He was garroted to death by some of Sosa's men.